Uber – the app-based on-demand ride-hailing service has raised more than $2 billion from investors in June and December in 2014 at a valuation of $17 billion and $40 billion respectively. The San Francisco-based company confirmed today that is has raised a further $1.2 billion funding, led by China-based search giant Baidu.
As competition gets stiffer globally, emerging markets seem to be the company’s latest battleground, making it go on a fundraising sprint like it never has before.
The news comes right after Uber’s biggest rival in China, Didi Kuaidi, confirmed it has raised $3 billion more to add to its war chest. The news was first revealed on Sina, a Chinese-online media company, by CEO Travis Kalanick. TechCrunch revealed that Didi Kuaidi raised $3 billion along with $16.5 billion post-money valuation. Didi Kuaidi’s previous investors include Alibaba, Tencent, China Investment Corp., Softbank, and Beijing Automotive.
According to Sina, Uber has witnessed a doubling in its business volume in past one month alone, with 100 million app accesses each day. Unlike Uber’s previous financing rounds, the new capital could be used primarily for expansion purposes in China. Uber is making aggressive moves to establish itself as the face of reigning taxi services in emerging market, with China being no different. Uber is developing a regional model for China ‘Uber China’ as its standalone entity, letting investors put money into the company's expansion efforts in one single area. In December 2014, Baidu invested in Uber with an eye on a partnership. Uber is working closely with Baidu to develop a robust local presence along with local staffing and integration with local maps and other services.
This summer, Uber’s competitor, Didi Kuaidi was reported carrying three times the passengers Uber did in China, hence the aggressive push to make it as incumbent taxi service.
Looking at the quickening temp across the start-up landscape, it can be easily derived that the ride-hailing company is leaving no stones unturned to raise money from hedge funds and accommodate additional investors, such as Baidu, the Chinese internet giant.
To date, Uber has officially raised $78.2 billion as its moves into new markets globally, disrupting existing taxi and other transportation industries. The San-Francisco-based company was founded in 2009 and is led by CEO Travis Kalanick.