US-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Middle East sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, participated in online cab booking company Uber’s $1.2 billion investment round announced early this month, says a The Wall Street Journal report, quoting unnamed sources.
The round also saw participations from US-based Valiant Capital Partners and Lone Pine Capital.
Separate media reports said the company has been valued at $40 billion with the fresh funding round. Uber plans to use the fresh capital for growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
Launched in 2009, San Francisco-headquartered Uber is one of the heavily-funded online car hire services in the world. The company enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps, as well as from its mobile site m.uber.com. Uber is simply a booking platform, and the cars are not operated by the company.
In July this year, Uber had closed $1.2 billion in funding from institutional investors, mutual funds as well as PE and VC investors at $17 billion pre-money valuation. According to a The Wall Street Journal report then, the investors who participated in that round included Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, BlackRock Inc, Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures.
Previously, Uber had raised over $361.2 million in funding led by Google Ventures, which put in $258 million.
The company started its operations in India in October last year and is already present in 11 cities — Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It recently entered Kochi.
Recently, Uber rolled out its ultra cheap variant UberGo in India that offers its customers chauffeur-driven hatchbacks (like Tata Indica Vista, Etios Liva and Maruti Suzuki Swift) for a price that it claims is lower than an auto-rickshaw. The company is also running a vehicle financing programme in partnership with financial services firms and auto manufacturers.
Recently, the Delhi government banned Uber following rape allegations against one of its drivers in the city.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)