Five-year-old Uber could hit $40bn valuation

Crikey. It just keeps growing.

It’s not even six months since Uber was valued at $17bn in its most recent fundraising round.

Now the private driver app is “close” to raising a further round that would value it at between $35bn and $40bn, according to sources close to the deal who have spoken to Bloomberg.

The round will see Uber raise at least $1bn, reportedly.

That’ll be used to fuel international expansion.

Uber is already available in 50 countries and 200 cities, spanning North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The astronomical rise of Uber

Rocket taking off

Source: Rex Features

Uber was founded in 2009 in San Francisco by CEO Travis Kalaknick and chairman Garrett Camp.

In the past five years, it’s attracted around $1.5bn investment in six rounds from more than 30 investors, including Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Google Ventures (see the potential fit with driverless cars?), according to Crunchbase and Uber.

Uber doesn’t share its user numbers or revenues, but Gigaom estimated in September that its revenues were around $26m from June 2013 to May 2014, compared with nearest rival Lyft’s estimated $2.2m. (Please note these figures are estimated from a limited data set. Read Gigaom’s full article to find out more.)

Gigaom also reckoned that Uber was adding up to 7,300 new customers per month in the period.

Controversies

Uber has come under fire in the past year or so over a range of issues, including customers’ privacy and use of data, and its attitude to drivers and rivals such as Lyft.

Most recently, it’s been in hot water as a senior executive suggested that Uber should use investigators to dig dirt on troublesome journalists (thinking he was off the record).

Forbes has done a great piece on the controversies surrounding Uber and whether we should trust it. Click that link to find out more.

 

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