Uber Technologies valued at nearly $51 bn after new funding

Uber Technologies Inc has closed a new round of funding that valued the online taxi-hailing company at nearly $51 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

Uber raised nearly $1 billion in the round, which brought up the total funding to over $5 billion, WSJ reported yesterday, citing one of the people.

According to the report, investors in the latest round included Microsoft Corp and the Indian media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co's Times Internet.

However, according to Bloomberg, which cited a person with knowledge of the matter, Microsoft was considering the investment and had not made a final decision.

"We filed to authorize this new funding more than two months ago," Kristin Carvell, a spokeswoman for Uber said in an email.

"We aren't commenting on additional speculation," she said.

In March, Times Internet said it would invest ''well under'' 1 billion rupees ($16 million) as part of a "strategic partnership".

Times Internet is the digital arm of Bennett Coleman & Co, which also runs India's largest English language daily, "The Times of India".

Uber was valued at $40 billion when it raised financing earlier this year. The San Francisco-based company, led by chief executive officer Travis Kalanick, would use the cash for expansion of operations to cities across the globe.

Microsoft had last month sold part of its Bing mapping unit to Uber, which offered positions to about 100 Microsoft employees who worked on image acquisition and data analysis as part of the mapping team for Bing, Microsoft's web-search engine.

The two companies had also combined to integrate Uber into Microsoft's Cortana voice-controlled assistant so that it could hail an Uber ride for users as a scheduled meeting on their calendar approached. According to commentators, an investment, if it happened, would come as a recognition that the two companies had worked together in the past and planned to remain partners in the future, according to the person.

Uber, founded in 2009 by Kalanick and Garrett Camp, had expanded to over 300 cities across at least 57 countries and had disrupted established taxi and limousine companies, which led to protests. The company had also drawn regulators' ire, which had banned the company from California to Brazil.