Video: Lance Armstrong “saved” by fluke investment soaring in value

Posted on: December 7th, 2018

Having settled cases for over $100 million, Lance Armstrong said a fluke early investment in Uber saved him and was too good to be true.


Lance Armstrong said a fluke investment in Uber when it was valued at just $3.5 has saved him from financial ruin.

His downfall after being caught for his doping and was given a lifetime ban from cycling cost him $111 million.

That includes loss of guaranteed earnings, settlements and legal fees arising from at least 10 cases.

And he told CNBC’s Squawk Box that investing $100,000 by chance in Uber has said him from financial ruin.

He got to know former senior Google executive Chris Sacca and kept in touch when he created his own investment vehicle, Lowercase Capital.

Armstrong explained that around 10 years ago Chris Sacha came to him, saying he needed investors for a project. Armstrong agreed to invest $100,000.

At the time he says he thought Sacha was buying up Twitter shares. It was only later he realised his money had been part of a fund invested in several ventures.

And the biggest part of the fund had been put into Uber. It was valued at $3.5 million at the time but is now valued at $60 billion.

It is unclear exactly how much of Armstrong’s $100,000 went into Uber at the early stages.

And while he would not be pressed on how much it was now worth, he indicated it was tens of millions.

“When I met Chris Sacca, he was; I believe at either Google or Twitter,” Armstrong said in the Squawk Box interview.

“And, you know Sacca’s personality. Larger than life and we were having fun and we kept in touch.

“Then some years later, probably around ’08 or ’09, he left to start his own venture capital fund called Lowercase Capital.

“He called me and said, ‘Looking for investors. Would you invest?’ And I’m thinking to myself, ‘This guy has a huge personality, but he’s also very smart and very well-connected. Why not?’

“So I invested in Chris Sacca. I didn’t even know that he did Uber. I thought he was buying up a bunch of Twitter shares from employees or former employees and the biggest investment in Lowercase fund one was Uber.”

When it was put to him his share must now be worth “10, 20, 30, 40, 50 million”, Armstrong replied “one of those… too good to be true”.

He is now starting his own investment fund, Next Ventures. Armstrong believes he will get first refusal on many sports-based product investments.

But he also said his past meant some people were not interested in dealing with him.

“There’s been people that we ask for a meeting and they just don’t answer,” he said.

“So you have to assume that’s what they’re thinking. Right? ‘I don’t want this association. I can’t trust this guy’.

“And by the way, fair play. I understand. I’m not gonna be upset or bitter about that. You have every right. And quite frankly, maybe you should feel that way.”


Lance Armstrong Squawk Box interview