Lance did not make anything close to that from his Uber investment. Because more precisely, he invested in Lowercase Capital's first investment fund, which in turn invested some, but much less than all, of its fund assets in Uber. If Lance had invested his $100K directly in Uber, then yes, he would be a billionaire (at least on paper).
These numbers are based on various reports I could find online, so may or may not be accurate. But they seem to be rather widely reported. Here is how we get to Lance's (indirect) stake in Uber:
#1: Lance invests in Lowercase Capital
- Lance invests $100K in the first Lowercase Capital fund ("LC Fund"), which raised $8.5 million
- Result: Lance owns 1.18% of the LC fund [$100K/$8.5M]
You can actually ignore #2 but for fun let's see what happened when LC Fund invested in Uber.
#2: Lowercase Capital invests in Uber
- LC Fund invests $300,000 in Uber
- Some reports say valuation was $4 million, others say $4.7 million. Let's be conservative and use the $4.7 million and assume it's a post-money valuation
- Result: LC Fund owns 6.38% of Uber [$300K/$4.7M=6.38%]; Lance owns 0.0751% of Uber (indirectly through LC Fund) [1.18%*6.38%=0.0751%]
Note that the 6.38% would be LC Fund's stake immediately after its investment. It would be diluted (together with other shareholders) to the extent Uber issued subsequent equity, whether stock or options to employees. The most widely cited number is that LC Fund now owns 4% of Uber. Seems high to me based on the number of subsequent financings, and maybe that is really 3.51%, but let's keep things simple and assume it's 4%. Reports are also that Uber's potential IPO could value the company at $120 billion, so we will use that number. That allows us to estimate how much Lance made from Uber.
#3 How rich is Lance from Uber?
- Current Uber valuation: $120 billion
- LC Fund's Uber stake: $4.8 billion [4%*$120B]
- Result: Lance's indirect Uber stake: $56.5 million [1.18%*$4.8B=$56.5M]
It would appear that Lance made more than $50 million from Uber. However, that actually understates how much he made from his $100K investment in LC Fund. Because remember, LC Fund raised $8.5 million and only $300K went to Uber. LC Fund also invested early in Twitter and Instagram. Those were massive home runs as well, if not as massive as Uber.
So nothing near $1-3 billion, but still not a bad return.
Race Director, Velo Club La Grange (http://www.lagrange.org)