Dis­graced cy­clist turns to Uber to avert cri­sis

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

DIS­GRACED cy­cling star Lance Armstrong has re­vealed an early in­vest­ment in taxi app Uber saved his fam­ily from fi­nan­cial ruin.

The fa­ther of five, who was ex­posed as a drugs cheat and stripped of his Tour de France ti­tles, said about $140,000 of his money was in­vested in the com­pany in 2009 via a ven­ture-cap­i­tal fund. At the time, Uber was val­ued at just un­der $5.3 mil­lion but it is now thought to be worth as much as $166 bil­lion.

Armstrong, 47, said the cash he made from Uber kept him on his feet be­cause he lost spon­sor­ship deals and faced a num­ber of law­suits over the dop­ing scan­dal.

He told the US CNBC chan­nel that he had not known at the time that his money had been bet on the tech firm, but the re­turn had been ‘‘too good to be true’’.

Armstrong, who is thought to have paid about $35 mil­lion in dam­ages and set­tle­ments, said that it saved his fam­ily.

Uber it­self has been hit by scan­dals over the be­hav­iour of driv­ers and vi­cious cam­paigns against ri­vals.

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