Sometimes it’s really about being in the right place at the right time.
That’s was the message from Cyan Banister, a partner with venture capital firm Founders Fund, when asked during a ProductHunt Live Chat about her 2010 investment in Uber. Banister was an independent angel investor at the time who also led an artist/fan interaction platform called Zivity.
Here is what Banister said, when asked how she got into Uber’s seed round (which had a pre-money valuation of less than $4 million):
“I originally heard about Uber from my personal driver who took me to the airport. (Roger) He handed me a card and said, “I’m not an investor, but if I were, I would call this guy Ryan Graves — this company is going to be huge!” He was their first driver I believe. Or at least, one of their first drivers. Eventually, his whole family was driving for Uber. He kept handing me cards and after meeting Travis at a demo pitch at one of Jason Calacanis’ Open Angel Forums, I knew that I needed to finally call Ryan. Luckily he let me in:)”
Banister’s husband Scott (co-founder of IronPort) also invested in the round, which looks like it could become one of the most successful seed investments of all time. It was done at a pre-money valuation of $3.86 million (post-money of $5.4 million), compared to Uber’s current private valuation of at least $64 billion.