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German media company Axel Springer buys a stake in Uber

German media company Axel Springer buys a stake in Uber


A ‘minimal’ investment by parent company of Business Insider

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

According to TechCrunch, German media company Axel Springer is taking a financial stake in Uber. It’s an eyebrow-raising move by the media company, which in addition to owning German-publications like Die Welt and Bild, also owns Business Insider.

“Uber is committed to providing reliable and accessible transportation that improves European cities by cutting congestion, pollution and parking,” an Uber spokesperson said. “The investment by renowned digital publisher, Axel Springer, is another example of a leading German company that shares this same vision.”

Neither Uber nor Axel Springer would reveal the timing nor the amount of the stake. A spokesperson for Springer would only tell The Wall Street Journal that the investment was “minimal.” In 2012, Springer made a “very minor” investment in Airbnb. The Uber stake is thought be to along the same lines.

another sign of validation from Europe’s largest economy

From Uber’s perspective, it’s another sign of validation from Europe’s largest economy. Earlier this year, Uber announced a partnership with Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, to use the automaker’s self-driving cars on Uber’s ride-sharing platform.

It’s also a sign that despite Uber’s recent setbacks, the ride-hail company is still raking in cash. An external investigation into allegations of sexism and harassment at Uber is still ongoing, and should be wrapping up soon. Meanwhile, top executives continue to run for the exit. Some recent departures include Rachel Whetstone, head of communication, and Sherif Marakby, vice president of global vehicle programs.

The company recently shared its financials with Bloomberg which showed gross bookings of $20 billion, net revenue of $6.5 billion, and an adjusted loss of $2.8 billion in 2016. The leak was widely seen as a way to distract from the recent onslaught of negative headlines.