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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Photo by Bloomberg.

The Truth About Uber’s Otto Deal

Photo: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Photo by Bloomberg.

I was recently calling sources about the biggest tech M&A deals of 2016 and came across an interesting fact. Uber’s acquisition of Otto (described here by the company) isn’t quite as it appears. 

While it’s been widely covered as a deal in which Uber paid $680 million in equity for the self-driving trucking company, the reality is more complicated. Unlike typical deals, Uber acquired Otto shares without paying upfront, apart from some nominal cash to close the deal. Instead, the company struck a more unusual arrangement with two parts.

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