Uber’s IPO is making some huge winners, and one of them is throwing his money around. Garrett Camp, a co-founder of Uber, just dropped a cool $72.5 million on a new mansion in a popular, ultra-elite and upscale neighborhood.
With the rise in stock price last week of the ridesharing app, Uber finally closed above the initial offering of the $45 IPO level last May. They’ve exhibited a very healthy comeback from the 17% drop that plagued the stock’s public rollout.
I suppose it could be just a coincidence that Uber co-founder Garrett Camp took advantage of this rebound by splurging on his biggest residential purchase thus far. Camp’s newest acquisition is in the 90210, in the impossibly swanky Trousdale Estates neighborhood.
Uber Co-Founder’s Net Worth
According to public records, Camp’s purchase now holds the record for the most money ever paid for a Beverly Hills house. Minecraft creator Markus Persson held that record in 2014 when he bought his $70-million home in the neighborhood.
With this purchase, Uber co-founder Garrett Camp now owns five over-the-top luxury homes. Imagine that, while Uber drivers go on strike to fight for better pay and benefits.
Despite the price, some say Camp and Nguyen got a good deal on the property. Although it was never really listed on the market, the Agency brokerage has the marketed price at $80 million. The couple had a private preview of the property in April.
Many believe that the Uber co-founder’s current net worth is around $4.1 billion. This isn’t just from being an Uber co-founder, though. Keep in mind that he built his fortune through several startups, including StumbleUpon and Expa. Also, he was one of several people who made a small fortune off Uber’s public listing in May.
Uber Drivers’ Reactions to the Purchase
According to the Guardian, the Uber co-founder’s latest real estate purchase succeeded in raising the ire of activists and drivers. Many are still complaining about the rideshare giant’s labor practices. Furthermore, advocate groups are demanding better working conditions.
The Guardian quotes Nicole Moore, a rideshare driver in Los Angeles as commenting on Camp’s $72.5 million home purchase. She said, “this is a perfect example of the 1% stealing from the rest of us. Drivers are living in their cars. We’re fighting for fair wages. At least share that wealth with the people who have actually built your company.”
Moore is an organizer with Rideshare Drivers United and works as a part-time driver. She has a full-time job because housing costs are out of reach in Los Angeles. She tells the Guardian, “It’s an abomination. Income inequality has gone rampant.”
Karim Bayumi, another Los Angeles Uber driver and organizer, was also quoted as saying “This guy is buying lavish houses with our money, our hard-earned money that they are unjustly taking from us. It’s exploitation.”
This luxurious purchase raises eyebrows, given the fact that Uber continues to “lose money.” Additionally, the company has aggressively opposed drivers’ efforts to improve their working conditions. University of California Hastings associate law professor and expert on the labor rights in the gig economy Veena Dubal insists, “It’s a slap in everyone’s face…The capitalist system we have has unduly rewarded him with extraordinary, in-your-face wealth.”
Dubal suggests that the $72 million would go along way in offering drivers’ workers’ compensation. Uber could use the money for unemployment insurance, and fair pay that many drivers are fighting for.