Online cab booking firm Uber raises $1.2B in fresh funding, valued around $40B or more

Global online car hire service major Uber Technologies Inc has secured $1.2 billion in fresh funding, it announced in its official blog. The names of the investors are not disclosed.

Separate media reports said the company has been valued at $40 billion with the new funding round.

The capital raised will be used for growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

“2014 has been a year of tremendous growth for Uber. It was just a year ago that Uber was operating in 60 cities and 21 countries – today we are in over 250 cities in 50 countries,” as per the post.

“We are six times bigger today than 12 months ago – and grew faster this year than last. In 2015 alone, Uber will generate over 1 million jobs in cities around the world. This kind of continued growth requires investment. To that end, we have just raised a financing round of $1.2 billion, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region,” it continued.

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 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.

In India, Uber is competing with Olacabs and TaxiForSure, among other online and offline car hire services.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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