Uber, which expanded to India in October last year and currently operates services in five cities, including Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai, is in talks with a few private equity investors to raise $1 billion.
Uber is one of the heavily-funded online car hire services in the world, with Google Ventures along with a few other investors infusing more than $360 million in August last year. This funding took the company’s valuation to $3.5 billion.
Launched in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps, as well as from its mobile site m.uber.com. For the same, users have to select their pickup location on a map (on the iOS and Android apps), and type their address on m.uber.com. At present, Uber operates services in more than 60 markets, ranging from San Francisco to Berlin to Tokyo. According to a recent report by Reuters, the firm is generating $200 million a year in revenue.
Uber is facing regulatory hurdles around safety concerns and protests by taxi drivers’ lobbies in the US and some international markets. Bloomberg report adds that London’s taxis are planning a 10,000 cab protest next month against Uber.
In India, Uber is competing with Olacabs, TaxiForSure, Carzonrent, Savaari Car Rentals, taxiGUIDE, Cabs24X7 and Meru Cabs.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)