Uber, the on-demand ride-hailing service, has raised $1.2 billion in funding from investors, giving it a total value of $18.2 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is now the second most valuable startup in history, after Facebook.
The car service is now in more than 130 cities and creates 20,000 new jobs per month. Benchmark venture capitalist Bill Gurley said:
“It’s probably the fastest international expansion that I’ve ever seen from a venture-backed company.”
However, it has not been a walk in the park for the company. Uber is currently battling regulators who want the company to operate more like a taxi or limousine service. For these reasons the company has dropped out of Vancouver and does not currently operate in Las Vegas. So far, Vancouver is the only city in which Uber was forced to drop.
Uber has countered with similar price cuts and plush signing bonuses to lure drivers and passengers away from rivals. The latest investment will furnish Uber with a larger war chest to undercut competitors, possibly at the cost of hurting its own profit margins. On Friday, the company announced plans to slash prices by 20% or more in most markets.
Less than one year ago, Uber was valued at $3.5 billion which shows that the company has grown tremendously during the past several months. If you currently have Uber service in your area, you can use their smartphone app to hail cars driven by professionals or amateurs.
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