How Uber Raised $37 Million in a Bar During our Flagship Event

August 21, 2015 by Anna O'Hare

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“The magic began basically after the conference was over, in the evening, when everyone goes to the pubs. It was truly magical”

Scott Stanford, co-founder of Sherpa Ventures & Uber investor


Scott’s talking about Web Summit 2011, when he found himself chatting to Travis Kalanick – co-founder of “this little company called Uber” – after the day’s talks had finished and attendees flocked to Ireland’s bars. Web Summit is our flagship event which takes place in Dublin (Ireland), and we’re incredibly excited to be bringing its magic to India in February.

In 2011, Uber had just 9,000 customers and were raising a Series B; Scott was co-head of internet investments for Goldman Sachs.

Scott and Travis talked, discussing how Uber could go from “this small company” to the industry behemoth it is today. Within a day Scott had invested on behalf of Goldman Sachs in Uber’s $37 million Series B.

But it gets better and you’ll have to watch the video to learn why:


The round was led by Menlo Ventures, whose “rookie VC” Shervin Pishevar signed papers with Travis after a pint in one of Dublin’s landmark pubs, “Bruxelles”. Shervin and Travis signed a deal in the Shelbourne Hotel – just opposite St Stephen’s green park where Travis and Scott and forged their partnership.

“We printed out the term sheets in the Shelbourne Hotel and signed them. It has turned into one of the most important investments of my life,” says Shervin.


A lot has happened since 2011

For Uber, for Shervin, Scott and for us at Web Summit and SURGE HQ.

Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to over 20,000 in just four years, and are now the biggest tech conference in Europe. We had hundreds of Indian attendees at Web Summit last year, and over 80 Indian startups exhibiting at our first Asian event last month. We can’t wait to come to Bengaluru.

In the 9 months since Web Summit 2014, 40 of our startup attendees have raised over $1 billion, and are now chasing down Uber-sized success.

We’d love to see you for our first event in India and you can apply to be part of the class of 2015 here.

About the Author

Anna O'Hare
Anna is a storyteller at heart and is particularly passionate about telling the stories of startups. After returning from a year working in New York City's tech sector, she now writes for Collision, Web Summit, RISE and SURGE.