The underdog’s growth and Uber’s deceleration have massive potential ramifications in and out of Silicon Valley. And for the front-runner, the timing could hardly be worse.

Uber has raised about $14 billion in equity and debt financing from more than 70 venture capital firms, private equity funds, and high-net-worth individuals, attaining a valuation of $69 billion, which makes it the most valuable tech startup ever. Albeit, Lyft has raised $2.6 billion from an equally impressive “who’s who” list, including $600 million in May in a funding round that gave it a valuation of $7.5 billion.

Investors on both sides will soon be itching for a return. Recent events may have pushed Uber that finish line farther away. “The amount of dislocation at Uber is almost unprecedented,” says Mark Mahaney, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. “I would assume that Uber has materially pushed back whatever IPO date they had.” Others believe that Uber’s dysfunction may deprive it of the future investors and corporate partners it needs to keep growing. “All it takes is one more issue before momentum is completely shifted,” says one automotive executive, who did not want himself or his company to be identified. “We’ve had internal discussions, and we don’t think Uber is a major player after 2020.”


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