Uber Technologies raises $1.2-bn to boost its international expansion

05 December 2014

Uber Technologies Inc has completed the next stage of its funding and has raised $1.2 billion to boost its international expansion, Bloomberg reported.

According to the mobile car-booking company, it raised the money at a $40-billion valuation, more than doubling its $17-billion valuation in June which boosted its rank as the most highly-valued US technology startup. With this, Uber has now raised over $2.5 billion since its inception in 2009.

The San Francisco-based company declined to say which investors participated in the financing. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that T Rowe Price Group Inc was in talks to become a new investor, with existing investor Fidelity Investments also set to get involved.

Confirming the $40-billion valuation, an Uber representative said the company might raise as much as $600 million more if other investors decided to come into the same round at a later point.

Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick said the company was in a ''tremendous growth'' period, and would be expected to generate over 1 million jobs worldwide in 2015.

''This kind of continued growth requires investment,'' Kalanick wrote in a blog post. ''This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.''

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that Uber wanted to be the world's private driving service and the company was now amassing a war chest to do it.

According to the report, the funds came on top of the $1.5 billion that Uber had already raised. The company may be expected to collect even more and eventually sell an additional $600 million in stock. It was working with Goldman Sachs to sell, potentially, another $1 billion in debt to some of the Wall Street firm's wealthy private clients.

The company's business involved an app that allowed customers to summon a private car, and in five years since its inception it has joined the ranks of companies that had achieved the fastest ascent.

The company's growth has surpassed even other members of Silicon Valley's exclusive 11-digit club - start-ups whose valuations exceed $10 billion.

With the additional money, Uber is setting itself up for what its investors hope would be the next mammoth initial public offering, following in the footsteps of Facebook and the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group.

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