Uber Technologies Inc. reported interest in engineers of the car-parking app developer Luxe Valet Inc. reflects Silicon Valley's constant hunt for tech talent.
Uber is interested in Luxe as an acqui-hire, a form of transaction that flourished from 2013 to 2014 but still occurs in technology, the Wall Street Journal reports. In such deals, the buyer is shopping for tech talent rather than the company's products or service. In many cases, the target may be shut down after the deal closes.
Backed by Google Ventures, Venrock, Sherpa Ventures, Redpoint, DataCollective and Lightspeed Venture Partners, Luxe is the Uber of parking, allowing customers to request valet to pick up or drop off their cars. The company promises to make parking tickets and other hassles of urban car ownership obsolete.
Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was a champion of the acqui-hire, though Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google, Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report , Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report , all part of Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio, and others have deployed the practice.
Because the target companies might not have revenue, or even a finished product on the market, valuations are often measured per-engineer rather than as a multiple of Ebitda or sales. Law firm Cooley LLP reports that prices range "anywhere from a few hundred thousand to two million per head," in a blog post.
As you might expect in Silicon Valley, the price tag for acqui-hires can go much higher. TheStreet's sister publicationThe Deal takes a look at some of the acqui-hires of years past for some of Silicon Valley's biggest tech heavyweights.
Editors' pick: Originally published June 10.