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Venture Capital

For a Key Uber Investor, Lessons in Corporate Governance

Shawn Carolan, who co-led Menlo Ventures’ investment in Uber, says his firm made $1 billion selling almost half of its stake in Uber to SoftBank. That eye-popping return, which Menlo hadn’t previously confirmed, on an original investment of $26 million in 2011, marks the firm’s largest redistribution of capital to its limited partners.

Mr. Carolan, 43, said in an interview that the Uber saga underscored for him the importance of corporate governance for private companies. In retrospect, he said, Uber investors were so eager for the chance to reap outsize gains that co-founder and then-CEO Travis Kalanick was given far too much latitude in decision-making.

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Correction: Mr. Carolan co-led Menlo Ventures’ investment in Uber. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that he led the investment.

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