Fred Wilson: Uber's Travis Kalanick is 'wimping out' and needs to 'take the g------ company public'

fred wilson

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Fred Wilson.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson compares going public to taking medicine, and he has some strong words for tech companies that refuse to take their medicine.

"It doesn't taste good," he said on stage at the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles on Thursday. "But it makes you better."
It's the slowest tech IPOs have been in years, and Wilson has had enough with companies staying private to wait for better market conditions or to keep getting capital from private firms.
"I agree with Bill Gurley on this. Man up! Woman up! F------ do it! Don't be chicken!" Wilson ranted, referring to another outspoken VC.

One company in Wilson's crosshairs is Uber, the ride-hailing company valued at more than $62 billion in the private market.

Its CEO, Travis Kalanick, does not appear to be in any hurry to take the company public.

Kalanick sees an Uber IPO as being a few years off still, and has compared its situation to being like an eighth-grader while people are telling them to go to the prom.

Wilson, who isn't an investor in the company, doesn't buy it."He's wimping out. That should be a publicly traded company," Wilson said.

At a certain point, Kalanick needs to return the more than $8 billion that he's raised back to investors. And the investors want it, according to Wilson.

"When you take money from me, am I getting money from you?" Wilson said. "You have a responsibility to give me my money back sometime. You can't just say f--- you. Take the g------ company public."