Uber gets funding from Tata; looks for a million rides a day in India

Taxi-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc has announced plans to expand its India operations, after Tata Opportunities Fund (TOF), the private equity fund advised by Tata Capital, on Wednesday invested in the US-based taxi-hailing application company.

This is the first investment by TOF in a global company with headquarters outside India. However, TOF did not disclose the amount it is investing in Uber.

Uber said it expects to average more than 1 million rides a day in India over the next six to nine months, as it steps up investment in its business despite competition by local rival Ola and other government licensed taxi services.

Ubar currently averages about 200,000 trips a day in India against Rival Ola's 750,000 trips a day.

Ola, backed by Japan's Softbank, expects to hit 1 million rides a day this month.

The Tata Group investment will help Uber expand its services and solutions in India by leveraging the Tata Opportunities Fund's network within the wider Tata Group, as well as externally.

The partnership is a milestone for both entities, Tata Group said in a press release.

''The Tata Opportunities Fund is delighted to support Uber's growth and continued success around the globe, more recently in China and India. Uber's technology continues to transform the way millions of people commute while creating economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of first time entrepreneurs,''

Padmanabh Sinha, managing partner of TOF's advisory team in India, said.

Uber, which launched operations in India less than two years ago, has a presence in around 18 cities in the country.

For Uber, India is its second biggest market outside the US. Recently, Uber committed around $1 billion investment in India over the next nine months to expand its presence. Earlier, the company also said it would invest $50 million in building a support centre in Hyderabad.

With its current base of over 150,000 driver entrepreneurs and continued robust 40 per cent month on month growth, Uber has a significant market share in the Indian market.

With a valuation of over $ 50 billion, Uber is a highly valued global start-up. It offers services in over 60 countries and 330 cities around the world.

The Tata Opportunities Fund (TOF) is a third-party private equity fund with a mandate to invest into exclusive situations with businesses which benefit from TOF's relationship with the Tata group.