And more money for Uber. Has been quite a trend lately. The San Francisco based cab-hailing company; Uber Technologies Inc could become the highest VC Funded tech startup in history if reports by WSJ and NYTimes are to be believed.
As per these reports, Uber is planning to raise $1.5-$2 billion in its next round of funding taking its net valuation to a staggering $50 billion, making it the only such private company since Facebook, which was valued at $50 billion before its IPO in 2012.
Uber, backed up by its highly efficient transportation network, has been rapidly expanding its operations globally (about 300 cities in 57 countries) and has also been stepping in as a major force in various other verticals. For instance, Uber Pool, the car sharing service; Uber Rush, the courier service in New York City; Uber Essentials, delivering everyday items in Washington DC; Uber Eats, the food delivery service and the proposed massive delivery services for merchants are some of the most prominent services launched by Uber recently.
However, as per reports, this latest round of funding would be primarily used for “strategic purposes” rather than expansion, indicating towards the recent efforts of acquisition and partnerships by Uber.
This includes its acquisition of mapping company deCarta, partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to revive up an autonomous vehicle program and the possible bidding on Nokia’s HERE mapping division for as much as $3 Billion.
Uber-The Leading “Unicorn”
Uber, founded in 2009 by Kalanick and Garrot Camp has seen an exponential growth, especially in last 2 years courtesy to the investors who see its massive logistics network technology as future of transportation. In February it was said to be valued at $18 billion. The figure went up quite a notch higher to $41 billion by December 2014. Now six months since that round, it is expected to add another $10 billion, putting it far ahead of other billion dollar startups in Silicon Valley, making it the leading “Unicorn”, a term frequently used in valley for billion dollar startups.
Even at its current $40 billion valuation, it was nearly triple that of other elite Silicon Valley startups like data-analysis firm Palantir, according to the research firm CB Insights.
Uber already holds the record for the most-funded startup: It has raised $5.9 billion in over ten rounds of venture capital funding in the past six years and it does not seem to stop here as investors are queuing to take part in its explosive growth, thanks to the incredible mismatch between company’s valuation and its financials. Uber did about $400 million in revenue last year, which would make a $50 billion valuation worth around 120 times the cash it actually pulls in.
Now this $50 billion figure would be truly staggering, putting it even further ahead of other fast-growing companies like Airbnb (its latest reported valuation is $20 billion) and Snapchat ($15 billion, reportedly). It has even surpassed the consumer electronic firm Xiaomi of China, which was said to have a $45 billion valuation at the end of 2014.