Uber looks to hail investors for another $2bn


The fundraising, which would value the company at $62.5 billion (£41.3 billion), is being backed by Tiger Global Management, the hedge fund, and T Rowe Price, the investment manager, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

Uber has sped ahead of rivals, such as Lyft, with an aggressive global expansion plan that has often drawn the ire of local regulators. In countries where Uber has been welcomed, the company is attempting to expand the range of services it provides, for example, by offering a cheaper car-pooling service.

The American company has already raised about $10 billion, valuing it at $51 billion. It remains the world’s most valuable start-up. Documents shown by Uber to investors in the present fundraising round estimate that the company’s gross revenue is $10 billion globally.

Uber allows customers to hail minicabs using a smartphone app that automatically calculates the distance they will travel and their fare. Bank accounts are debited at the end of each trip, meaning that no cash changes hands between passenger and driver. The app can be used in 12 cities in Britain.

In February, Uber enlarged a fundraising round from $1.8 billion to $2.8 billion to sate investor demand. The company closed a $1.2 billion round in December last year that raised its valuation to $41 billion.

This week Uber announced plans to launch UberPool, a carpooling service, in London. It is available in 15 cities around the world. Under the plans, from today, taxi users will be able to share journeys with strangers to cut the cost of fares. Up to three passengers will be able to share a car at a 25 per cent discount.

Transport for London has threatened tough new rules to regulate minicabs, including a mandatory five-minute wait time before a driver can pick up a passenger. The regulator has also proposed controls on ride-sharing, which could scupper UberPool.

The success of Uber has upset the black cab industry in London. In September, black cab drivers stormed City Hall after Boris Johnson described them as “Luddites” for protesting against Uber.