Uber Worth $18 Billion Because Sure, Why Not?

Uber Technologies Inc. signage stands inside the company's office prior to Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, sp
Uber Technologies Inc. signage stands inside the company's office prior to Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaking in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, March 24, 2014. Rubio addressed the need to adapt antiquated government regulations to increase economic opportunities for the 21st century and outdated regulations limit consumer choice. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Now do you believe we're in a new tech bubble?

Uber, a controversial car-hiring app, just raised $1.2 billion in fresh investor cash, giving it a total value of either $17 billion, according to the company, or $18.2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Really, though, what difference does a billion here or a billion there make any more, when money no longer has meaning?

Uber, the value of which has quadrupled in less than a year, is now the most expensive member of the WSJ's "Billion Dollar Startup Club," made up of companies being financed by venture capital that are worth more than $1 billion. There are now more than 30 such companies, most of them in tech, including Airbnb ($10 billion), Dropbox ($10 billion) and Pinterest ($5 billion).

Would you like some dubious comparisons to help you put these outlandish numbers in perspective? Of course you would.

Uber is the second most-valuable startup in history, after Facebook, according to the WSJ.

Uber is now worth more than half of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, including dozens of banks, oil companies and technology companies. It is worth more than Chipotle or Whole Foods. It is worth more than ancient-economy companies like Alcoa and Clorox.

Uber is now worth more than all the personal real estate in the crowded Washington, D.C., suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, according to the real-estate research firm Redfin.

Uber is now worth more than two times the net worth of billionaire/real-life-Iron-Man Elon Musk (as measured by Forbes).

Uber is worth more than George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Donald Trump and H. Ross Perot combined.

Anyway, you get the idea: It's worth a lot of money. Whatever money is.

We have warned you repeatedly of a tech bubble in the past couple of years, and we continue to be correct.

The good news is that this tech bubble is probably not anything you should worry about just yet, unless you live in the parts of California that these absurd mountains of cash have rendered uninhabitable. You, normal investor, are probably not really at risk of getting too badly burned when all this goes kablooey the way you were in the dot-com bubble. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index is still far away from the record it set back then.

Then again, it's early yet.

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