Uber has just raised another blockbuster $1.2 billion round of funding at a mammoth $40 billion valuation to power the transportation company’s massive ambitions. The investors in the round were not disclosed, though CEO Travis Kalanick said in a post to the company’s blog that there is room in this round for additional strategic investments.
The cash will be put towards expanding Uber’s business, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Thus far, the company has been going through a period of absolutely massive growth – it’s currently operating in more than 250 cities in 50 countries, compared to 60 cities in 21 countries a year ago.
Today’s funding round adds to Uber’s already massive war chest: the company raised $1.2 billion in June at a $17 billion valuation.
In addition to the funding news, Kalanick took a moment to say that the company needs to “invest in internal growth and change.” It’s a reference to the scandals that have rocked the transportation company over the past month, including an executive telling a reporter that the company should hire an opposition research firm to target journalists critical of Uber, and the General Manager of Uber’s New York office being disciplined for tracking a reporter’s rides without her permission.
Kalanick said that the company is “seeking counsel from those who have gone though similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.” Those discussions should lead to changes that Kalanick says will make for a “smarter and more humble” Uber.
Kalanick’s post follows below:
2014 has been a year of tremendous growth for Uber. It was just a year ago that Uber was operating in 60 cities and 21 countries – today we are in over 250 cities in 50 countries. We are 6 times bigger today than 12 months ago – and grew faster this year than last. This progress is remarkable, but it is in the coming years that Uber truly scales and the impact in cities becomes visible.
In 2015 alone, Uber will generate over 1mm jobs in cities around the world and with that millions of people may decide that they no longer need to own a car because using Uber will be cheaper than owning one. Parking could become less strained in our biggest cities, and city congestion may actually start to ease due to uberPOOL’s expansion and success.
This kind of continued growth requires investment. To that end, we have just raised a financing round of $1.2 billion, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains. The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change. Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps. We are collaborating across the company and seeking counsel from those who have gone through similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.
Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.
We have an interesting journey ahead and I’d like to thank all of the riders, drivers and Uber employees who have made it possible to get this far. I’m inspired and energized every day by the work we do, the people in our community we serve and the impact we can have in bringing positive change to cities around the world.