Rumors from the Wall Street Journal that Uber was in the process of finalizing terms for a $1-2 billion leveraged loan began spreading just after noon PST. This comes just two weeks after the company closed a $3.5 billion equity round from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. If the deal goes through, it would mean the company has added $5.5 billion to it coffers in the amount of time it takes a typical startup to initiate discussion of a funding round.
One benefit of Uber raising money as debt rather than equity is that it can avoid additional dilution for its employees. The company has raised $12.51 billion in equity financing since 2009. The company has also previously brought in close to $2 billion in debt financing from what is effectively a Wall Street credit line. This is the first time Uber is considering higher risk leveraged loans.
Leveraged loans typically have higher interest rates than traditional debt financing. It is also common for such loans to have variable rate interest. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is looking to secure a 4-4.5 percent yield.
Uber is betting heavily on international expansion and is going to need a lot of capital to accomplish that. The company has a notoriously high burn rate despite reports that company is profitable in the North America.