Online taxi hailing application Uber has raised around $1 billion in funding from Microsoft and The Times Group’s parent company Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), reports re/code. This brings the company’s total funding to over $5 billion according to reports.
Apparently authorised over 2 months ago, the funding will be useful to expand to markets outside the US, most noticeably in India (its second largest market), where Uber said it would pump $1 billion over the coming year. In India, it will invest this money in the next 6-9 months to improve its operators, expand to other cities, develop new products and payment solutions and set up a better support network.
According to the re/code report, Uber India has been growing at 40% month on month with expectations to hit over 1 million trips daily in the next 6-9 months, the same time frame in which it will utilise its funding.
$1.8 billion from Series E stock sales: In December, Fortune reported that Uber had filed to authorise up to $1.8 billion of new Series E preferred stock in Delaware, US. At that time, experts valued the company at $40 billion in case the shares were issued. Before that, it had closed $1.5 billion in funding led by Fidelity Investments.
Uber has not led a trouble free life since its inception. Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO, said on its blog then that, “…To that end, we have just raised a financing round of $1.2 billion, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains… The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change.” Bloomberg had reported that Uber lost $470 million on revenues of $415 million, which a Uber spokesperson stated being outdated.
MS’ Bing mapping technology goes to Uber: Towards the end of June, Microsoft had sold a part of its Bing Maps technology to Uber for an undisclosed amount. About 100 Microsoft engineers were expected to join Uber, following this deal. Microsoft would stop collecting map data and instead depend on data licensed from partners like Nokia to continue offering its Bing Maps service. Microsoft would instead focus on the user experience of Bing Maps.
Times Internet’s Uber partnership: In March this year, Times Internet*, the digital business owned by Times of India group, entered into a strategic partnership with the taxi booking service Uber in a deal that was “centered around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment”, according to the company. Reuters reported Times’ investment to be valued at $16 million, whereas Economic Times, a TOI group publication, reported this as a Rs 150 crore deal ($23.52 million). The marketing part of the deal, according to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, included the Times of India group’s “print, radio, OOH, and digital marketing platforms”. Uber has similar partnerships, including with Baidu in China, AmericaMovil in LatAm and American Express in the US
Our Uber coverage here.
*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama
Image Credit: Flickr user Kmeron