20VC: Uber’s Journey to Becoming the Most Valuable Private Tech Company in History, Raising $3BN From Saudi in Just 60 Days, Uber’s $30BN Mistake in Food Delivery, Why Recent Uber M&A Will be the Worst in Tech & Mastering Negotiations and Deal-Making with Emil Michael, Former Chief Business Officer @ Uber

Posted on 24th October 2022 by Harry

Emil Michael is the Former Chief Business Officer at Uber and is commonly referred to as Travis Kalanick’s right-hand man. At Uber, Emil was instrumental in raising nearly $15BN from some of the largest investors in the world, making Uber the most valuable private tech company ever. Emil was also core to Uber’s China strategy and led deals with Didi and Baidu. Before Uber, Emil spent 9 years at TellMe Networks where he was central to Microsoft raising their acquisition price from $300M to $800M. Emil is also an advisor to some of the greats including Raf @ GoPuff, Zach @ Codeacademy, Jared @ Fundera and many more.

Episode Transcript

Want the full transcript of this episode with Emil Michael? Sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll send you a copy as soon as it’s done!

In Today’s Episode with Emil Michael:

1.) From Politics to Travis’s right-hand man at Uber:

  • How did Emil make his way into the world of startups with TellMe networks?
  • Harvard, Stanford, Goldman, Politics, which career shaped Emil the most?
  • When Emil looks at his cohort of Ali and Hadi Partovi, Alfred Lin, and many others, what did they have that Emil believes is core to their success today?

2.) Negotiations 101: A Masterclass:

  • What is Emil’s framework for dealmaking? How has it changed over time?
  • What are the single most important elements to remember when making deals?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make when negotiating?
  • What is the right way to use leverage in negotiations?
  • How can one handle an opponent that is emotional or irrational when negotiating?
  • How did Emil make Steve Ballmer @ Microsoft increase his offer for TellMe from $300M to $800M?
  • What is the single deal that Emil made that he regrets the most?

3.) Uber: The Journey to the Most Valuable Private Company:

  • Why were Emil and Travis removed from Uber? Does Emil think it was fair?
  • Is it true that Travis lost the support of the team? How did his removal take place?
  • How did the Uber China deal go down with Didi? What got DiDi over the line on the deal?
  • How did Emil raise $3BN from Saudi in just 60 days with Travis needing to attend only one meeting?

4.) Uber: The Review:

  • How does Emil assess the management and performance of Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi?
  • If Travis and Emil were still in charge, what would Emil have done differently?
  • Why does Emil think Dara and Uber have made a $30BN mistake in food delivery?
  • Why does Emil think Postmates, Careem, and others have been the worst acquisitions in tech?

5.) The Venture Landscape:

  • Emil entered the world of VC with Coatue, why did he decide that VC was not for him?
  • How does Emil analyze the VC landscape today? Who are risers? Who are fallers?
  • What are the single biggest points of misalignment between founder and VC?
  • What are the core improvements that Emil would like to see made to the VC world?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Emil’s Favourite Book: Sun Tzu: The Art of War

Want the latest 20VC insights?

Get all of the insights from of our latest epsiodes and more in our monthly newsletter. All venture, no spam.