This is big. Luxury private car company Uber has US$361.2-million in its latest funding round and US$258-million of that is believed to have come from Google Ventures.
At its core, Uber is an on-demand private driver. Users of the service can request a ride at any time using the service’s iPhone and Android apps or from its mobi site. With your credit card registered on the service, the car picks you up and the trip is tracked from the moment you get in ’til you get off.
News of the funding round comes courtesy of a Certificate Of Incorporation unearthed by AllThingsD and shows that Uber has become a seriously hot investor commodity. According to TechCrunch, the round values Uber at around US$3.4-billion pre-money and US$3.76-billion post.
The real story though is the funding put in by Google Ventures. It’s US$258-million input is a massive chunk of the US$300-million it’s allowed to spend every year and is also the largest single investment it’s ever made.
And while Google Ventures may be the name on the investment form, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is Google money through and through. Indeed, it was reportedly a meeting between the private car service and Google CEO Larry Page that sealed the deal.
The funding round also means that Uber is well-poised for an IPO, should it choose to go that route. With that much money, it likely wouldn’t have to undertake another round of funding before going public. That said, it is still possible that it might try to raise a little extra funding.
The company has seen success across with world in four other continents, North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Currently operational in more than 30 cities around the world, Uber recently added normal taxis to its signature luxury cars such as: Lincoln Town Cars, Cadillac Escalades, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S550 sedans.