The news that has been doing rounds as rumor for some time now has been confirmed. Uber, the on-demand call taxi service has raised a massive $1.2 billion from new and old investors. This puts the valuation for the four-year old company at a mind boggling $17 billion.
Here’s a statement from the official Uber blog by chief Travis Kalanick:
We have some exciting news to share this morning. We have just closed a financing round with some of the leading investors in the world, raising $1.2B of primary capital at a $17B pre-money valuation. The total raise will be about $1.4B with a second close of strategic investors soon. We are thrilled to have top tier institutional investors, mutual funds, private equity and venture capital partners joining us.
The new investors who participated in the round include Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, and BlackRock Inc., along with previous investors – Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and Menlo Ventures.
This round of funding has raised the company’s valuation five-fold as compared to the last round of funding of $258 million by Google Ventures that gave it a valuation of $3.4 billion.
Uber was started four years back, but the growth has been nothing short of phenomenal in this short period of time. According to its blog post, it is now operating in 128 cities and 37 countries around the world.
Uber launched in India in August last year with Bangalore. Since then the service has expanded to Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad. While the service has been nothing short of a phenomenon, the expensive pricing remains a concern for it in India.