San Francisco-based online taxi-hailing startup Uber has raised $1 bn in a new funding round from Microsoft and Indian media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co.; Uber has reached the valuation of about $51 bn with this round.
The company will use the funds to expand its ride-hailing service into more foreign cities. Reportedly, the company had filed a document in Delaware in May to authorize the latest funding round.
Microsoft has also recently sold its map-generating technology to the ride-hailing app. As part of the deal, around 100 employees are set to transfer to Microsoft as part of the maps deal.
Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp, Uber is a technology startup which is innovating at the intersection of lifestyle and logistics. It connects riders with safe, reliable, convenient transportation providers at a variety of price-points in cities around the world.
After this funding, Uber has exceeded the private company venture funding record set by Facebook; Facebook reached a $50 bn valuation in 2011 when Goldman Sachs sold shares in the startup to wealthy foreign investors – reported WSJ. Also, Uber has reached this level in just 5 years while Facebook took 7 years.
India being the second largest and fastest growing market for Uber globally, it is investing significant resources into this market’s continued growth as the number of taxi service providers, especially in metros which have seen a phenomenal growth in the past couple of years.
Uber is said to be investing $1 Bn in the next nine months exclusively for the Indian market. The online cab company will expand into newer cities and to develop new payment solutions as well. In India, the top five cities for Uber contribute about 80% to the company’s total trips. As of now, it is operational in 311 cities in 57 countries.
Earlier, after being in controversy for months, Uber had also went into a strategic commercial partnership with Times Internet to boost its presence in the country and also raised an strategic investment from Times Internet. (About $23 Mn).
Having launched in India in 2013, Uber, currently, operates in eleven cities across India these include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune.
SoftBank-backed Ola is Uber’s chief rival in India, covering 100 cities. Ola, which acquired taxi aggregator TaxiForSure for $200 mn in March this year, now together cover market share of about 80%. Currently, it has 2,50,000 vehicles on its network and is adding more than 1,500 vehicles every day; these undertake about 750,000 rides a day.