The San Francisco-based ridesharing service, Uber has said that the amount raised in its last couple of funding rounds will primarily be utilized for investments in India and China. As per the reports, earlier this year Uber raised $600 Mn and $1 Bn in separate fund raising rounds, topping the total Series E round to $2.8 Bn.
The app-based taxi aggregator is currently present in 311 cities in 57 nations, and this funding will help Uber to expand in India where it faces stiff competition from taxi hailing app Ola. It is to be noted that recently Ola acquired TaxiForSure and raised $400 Mn.
Speaking on the plans, Allen Penn, Uber’s Head of Asia Operations said, “In the last couple of months, Uber has raised money with India and China in focus. These are very big markets and priority for us and we feel they will help us drive growth for the firm.”
Uber is betting big on Indian market, as the number of taxi service providers, especially in metros have seen a phenomenal growth in the past couple of years. If analysts are to be believed than the taxi market is estimated to reach INR 30,000 Cr.
Earlier in December last year, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said, “we raised a financing round of $1.2 Bn, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.” So far, Uber has raised $5.6 Bn and is valued at around $40 Bn.
It seems that the Uber decided to give tough competition to other domestic taxi players on all front. Recently, the firm has announced that it is introducing cash payment option in Hyderabad, as an experiment. Besides, it had also introduced Uber Vehicle Financing Programme to to swell its cab driver base in India. Report suggests that Uber has cab driver base of 45,000-60,000 in India.
In addition, the firm had introduced uberGO for cheaper cab fares, uberAUTO for booking auto rickshaws as well as safety features like SOS button, Send Status and SOS alert solution for law enforcement.