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Bill Gurley at the 2013 GeekWire Summit. (Photo by Eugene Hsu)
Bill Gurley at the 2013 GeekWire Summit. (Photo by Eugene Hsu)

Uber has been making headlines for challenging city officials in Portland, musing about investigating the private lives of journalists, and poaching executives from rival companies. But one of the early investors in the company, prominent Silicon Valley VC Bill Gurley of Benchmark, praises Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in an interview on Bloomberg Television tonight.

I would say, if I looked along a vector, he’s most like Bezos,” Gurley says of Kalanick. “And I would say that the business is most like Amazon. It’s not a Facebook. It’s an operational intensive business. But I find him to be most like Jeff.”

He adds, “The thing that’s least well understood about Travis is he is an insanely good recruiter. Jeff was always, you know, going into Wal-Mart and getting their CIO, just going in and getting the best people he possibly can. And that’s what Travis has done.”

Uber’s recruiting has gotten the company in hot water, with rival Lyft suing its former chief operating officer after he was hired by Uber.

Among other topics, Gurley also talks about Uber’s impact on the rental car market. Other topics include Apple and tech company valuations. The Benchmark partner has said he believes the tech sector is overheating.

The full interview with Gurley airs Thursday night on Bloomberg TV at 8:30 Eastern/5:30 Pacific.

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