Uber snags S$1.5 billion in new funding

Uber snags S$1.5 billion in new funding
Transportation app Uber driver Shuki Zanna waits for rides in his limousine in Beverly Hills. Photo: Reuters
The rides-on-demand service seen valued at S$23 billion
Published: 7:24 AM, June 7, 2014
Updated: 3:51 PM, June 7, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO - Uber Inc has raised US$1.2 billion (S$1.5 billion) from mutual funds and other investors in a funding round valuing the fast-growing rides-on-demand service at US$18.2 billion (S$23 billion), one of the highest valuations ever for a Silicon Valley startup.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick announced the funding round on Uber's blog Friday.

The funding, eclipsed only by the likes of Facebook Inc before it went public, is a vote of confidence by investors in four-year-old Uber's growth potential.

"Uber is one of the most rapidly growing companies ever, and we believe there are opportunities for continued tremendous growth," Joan Miller, a spokeswoman for Summit Partners, an investor in the funding round, said by telephone.

Investors hope the company, which allows users to summon a ride on their smartphones, can expand globally and diversify into logistics.

The investors in the round valued Uber "pre-money" at US$17 billion, the blog post said. The US$1.2 billion infusion took the startup's valuation to US$18.2 billion.

Fidelity Investments put in about US$425 million, Wellington Management added US$209 million and BlackRock Inc contributed US$175 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Venture firms Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures also participated in the round, a person familiar with the matter said.

Kleiner's investment came from its Digital Growth Fund, run by former stock analyst Mary Meeker, known for her bullish recommendations during the first dot-com boom. Her fund has had recent hits, including traffic app Waze, acquired last year for US$1.1 billion by Google.

Uber, which did not give details about its latest investors, operates in 128 cities across 37 countries.

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