Uber to raise USD 1.2 bn at a valuation of USD 18 bn

US based on-demand car service, Uber has raised USD 1.2 billion in a fresh round at a valuation of USD 18 billion, as per a Reuters report. The investment was led by mutual-fund managers Fidelity Investments, Blackrock and Wellington Management. The company is expected to raise USD 200 million in future and secure a total funding of USD 1.50 billion.

Recently, it received USD 361.2 million from Google Ventures and USD 200 million from Texas Pacific Group. Also, in India the firm has opened offices in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai.

iamWire Take: With Uber growing bigger, and at the same time expanding its presence in India, it could threaten the indigenous cab services with its low cost options. And on a different note, since Google is actively acquiring startups in different industries, could Uber be the next in the list?

Also Read: Uber expanding in Asia; coming to India too?

Uber is also experimenting with new services, like its Uber RUSH courier service or its UberFAMILY child seat offerings in New York City. Based on the success of those programs, Uber could make those offerings available in additional markets.

In addition to expanding into new markets, Uber has also been adding new products and features over time. What began as a luxury app for hailing a black car — hence the tagline “Everyone’s private driver” — has morphed to offer lower-price, more accessible transportation in major metropolitan areas. In many markets its “UberX” fares are priced below the cost of a cab, and it’s looking to expand the low-cost option to more cities. (As covered by Techcrunch)

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It’s remarkable that it was only four years ago this week Uber started operations in SF, connecting residents with the safest, most reliable way to get around the city. Today, we are operating in 128 cities in 37 countries around the world with hundreds of thousands of transportation providers and millions of consumers connecting to our platform.

With our growth and expansion, the company has evolved from being a scrappy Silicon Valley tech startup to being a way of life for millions of people in cities around the world. (As mentioned in the company’s blog)

More from Reuters: “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.

To contact the author, email at sujata@iamwire.com.