Forget about a $10 billion valuation. Uber, the disruptive private car service, just closed a $1.2 billion round of new funding at a breathtaking $18.2 billion valuation.
Others will debate whether that's a fair price. I'd much rather tell you how to cash in on Uber's bounty. The best way to play it? By investing in Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG), which added to its sizable stake in Uber by joining a handful of others participating in this latest round.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that three the world's biggest money managers -- Fidelity, Wellington, and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) -- combined to put $809 million into Uber. Google Ventures apparently split the remaining $391 million with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Ventures, and Summit Partners.
For Google, it's the second time the company has invested in Uber. Last summer the search king pledged $258 million at an estimated $3.76 billion post-money valuation, TechCrunch reports. Thus, it's entirely possible that Google is sitting on nearly $1 billion in Uber gains right now -- better than a four-bagger -- without the benefit of an IPO.
Talk about a huge win for David Krane and the Google Ventures team.
So where will this money show up? Under "non-marketable equity investments" on Google's balance sheet, which showed a $2.1 billion private equity portfolio as of March 31. I'd expect to see no less than $3 billion on that line when Google files its next 10-Q, probably toward the end of July. (Find all the company's SEC filings here.)
To be sure, Google isn't a cheap stock trading at close to 30 times trailing earnings. Yet this story has become about so much more than search. Between $56 billion in net cash and short-term investments, a fast-growing apps business, a disruptive Chromebook business, and a rapidly improving private equity portfolio, there's a lot for Google investors to like right now.