Uber’s unusually close relationship with the media isn’t stopping at new board member Arianna Huffington.
News Corp. (NWS) chief Rupert Murdoch reportedly owns a small stake in the ride-hailing company, according to a report from Recode citing anonymous sources. The media mogul investment doesn’t appear to be direct (he is not noted on Uber’s cap table), but rather it may be through an investment vehicle.
Uber, which has raised more than $9 billion, is currently valued at over $64 billion (or more). Given that high valuation, Murdoch’s share is likely worth tens or hundreds of billions, regardless of its size.
According to the report, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick is quite open with insiders about Murdoch’s stake in the ride-hailing company.
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Last month, Uber announced that Arianna Huffington, co-founder and (still) editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, has joined the company’s board of directors. Huffington and Kalanick have been friends for years, they said, and their companies recently collaborated on an anti-drowsy driving campaign in support of Huffington’s new book about the importance of sleep.
Soon after the announcement of her joining the board, reports emerged that an editor had recently turned down a pitch for a story critical of Uber in an attempt to preserve the companies’ sleep-related partnership.
Both Uber and representatives for Murdoch declined to comment.