Company Briefs: Uber Technologies; TransferWise

Uber Technologies

Mr Travis Kalanick sold about 20 per cent of his stake in Uber Technologies last week, reported Bloomberg.

Mr Kalanick, 43, a director at the ride-hailing company, sold 20.3 million shares worth about US$547 million (S$745 million) that were held in a trust, according to a regulatory filing last Friday.

The trades came after a 180-day lock-up period restricting insider and early investor sales following May's initial public offering (IPO). They were among the large stake disposals last week that pushed the stock down to an all-time low.

Uber has underwhelmed investors in the public markets so far. The shares have tumbled 40 per cent since the IPO, reducing the San Francisco-based firm's value from almost US$76 billion at its listing to about US$46 billion. They edged up 0.5 per cent to US$27.14 in New York trading on Monday.

Mr Kalanick, who was ousted as Uber's chief executive in 2017, remains one of tech's richest entrepreneurs. Even after the sale, he still owns 78 million shares in Uber - a 4.6 per cent stake - and has a net worth of about US$3.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


TransferWise, which recently raised funds at a US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) valuation, is launching an international payments service in Malaysia soon as part of an ongoing Asian expansion, chief executive Kristo Kaarmann said.

That financing means the European fintech start-up, which has been profitable for three years, is in no hurry to go public, Mr Kaarmann added in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Rishaad Salamat and David Ingles.

"As it stands, we have no immediate plans to list on a public exchange," he said at Singapore's annual fintech festival.

TransferWise was started in 2011 when Estonia-born co-founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kaarmann grew frustrated with the high fees charged by banks on money sent from London back to their homeland.

The firm is starting an international payments service in Malaysia as part of its expansion beyond existing markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The firm also delivers money to 17 countries in Asia.

Mr Kaarmann said London-based TransferWise recently opened an office in Brussels that can become its European headquarters if Brexit goes through.

"We're completely prepared for any outcome Brexit will bring," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe