Ashton Kutcher, Jay Z, Lance Armstrong – what do they all have in common? They’ve made mad money investing in Uber. The company has made some celebrities a few millions richer over the years, but did it add $300 million to Beyoncé’s net worth?
Stock over cash
There has been this story doing rounds on Twitter that in 2015, Queen Bee performed at a private Uber event. Declining her $6 million paycheck, the songstress asked to be paid in stock worth a similar amount. This really happened, but are the stocks she received worth the millions everyone is going crazy about?
A tweet by @KelvinLeeJones1 on May 14 sparked off this debate, and in a few hours had been liked 121,000 times and retweeted 34,000 times. In fact, it was one of the most liked tweets that day.
The claim was in itself a “retweet with comment” from ThatGrapeJuice.net, a website that had gotten the article from InsideEdition.com, who had re-written it from Forbes.
The Forbes article did mention Beyoncé opting for payment in stock options, a request that Travis Kalanick (then-CEO) happily obliged. So if she got 6 million Uber stocks, she must have made mega millions thanks to the recent IPO, right?
Unfortunately, that statement isn’t exactly true. The point that most of us are missing is that Bey didn’t receive 6 million shares, she received RSUs worth $6 million, otherwise known as Restricted Stock Units.
Doing the math with the belief that she actually got six million shares, and with the stock price at the company’s IPO being $45, you’d get that her stock would be worth $270 million. Sadly, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
$9 million or $300 million?
The reality is that at the Beyoncé got her stocks when Uber’s valuation was at $50 billion. Now, if we are to assume that she’s held on to each and every one of these shares all these years, it would translate to a $9 million stake. That’s a very good profit margin, but it certainly doesn’t come close to $300 million now, does it?
However, we are still reaching with this calculation. We’ve chosen to assume that between 2015-2018, the singer’s shares weren’t at all diluted. All things considered, that can’t possibly be true.
In those three years, the company has had a minimum of three huge raises. At each of these, Beyoncé’s stake must have undergone some dilution. Even if they haven’t been diluted, they still can’t be worth $9 million as this is the sum before the tax cut.
So, therefore, in as much as we may love to spread the news that Bee is worth $300 million more, that statement is unfortunately false.
Imagine if she’d taken the $6 million paycheck and invested it in, say, Amazon? She would have $19.2 million today!
Either way, Beyoncé undoubtedly knows her way around smart money moves. Have you watched Homecoming yet? It’s a documentary on her Coachella performance streaming on Netflix. Coachella paid her $4 million for the performance, while Netflix forked out $20 million to film it.