Global online cab hailing service Uber Technologies Inc has increased the size of its Series E round of venture financing by $1 billion, according to a New York Times report citing regulatory filings by the firm. The development, which was confirmed by the company spokesperson, takes the total funding in the latest round to $2.8 billion.
The development comes just a few weeks after it raised $1.2 billion in its Series E round from a group of unnamed investors. According to report by The Wall Street Journal, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Middle East sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, had participated in the round. US-based Valiant Capital Partners and Lone Pine Capital had also co-invested in the round that valued Uber at $40 billion. Back then, the company said that it is making substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
It had kept the option of raising $600 million more, which it has exercised since then.
The latest funding comes on top of $1.6 billion in convertible debt from global investment bank Goldman Sachs' wealth management clients.
Launched in 2009, San Francisco-headquartered Uber is the most heavily-funded online car-hire service 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.
To date, the company has raised more than $4.3 billion.
In July 2014, the firm 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. The investors which 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.
Uber in India
The company started its operations in India in October 2013 and is already present in 11 cities — Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kochi.
Recently the Delhi transport department had modified the state radio taxi laws to bring the online car aggregators under the ambit of the scheme, paving the way for the likes of Uber to continue with their services in the state.
The state government had imposed a ban on mobile-based car hiring company following a sexual assault by one of the drivers contracted to the firm in December. The Delhi government had also asked all cab services running without licences to be off the road. Following the incident, Uber had suspended its services in Delhi and tendered an apology.
It is now facing a legal suit in the US from the rape survivor.
In the cab booking segment in India, Uber competes with domestic players like Olacabs, TaxiForSure (backed by Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners), Meru, Savaari, taxiGUIDE among others.
In October last year, Mumbai-based ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, the company behind Olacabs, raised $210 million (approximately Rs 1,260 crore) in its Series D round of funding from SoftBank Corp., with participation from existing investors Tiger Global and Matrix Partners India, besides Steadview Capital.
Recently, Techcircle.in had exclusively reported that Ola is back in the market to scoop between $300-500 million more in funding. The company is likely to rope in at least two new investors including a New York-based fund besides a Hong Kong-based fund house, in addition to participation from most of its existing investors.
Ola is reportedly in talks to buy TaxiForSure with this round of funding. To add, China's taxi hailing services Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache recently announced plans to merge. These deals, if completed, will require Uber to spend heavily to take on local players.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)