Uber announced today that it has raised $1.2 billion — yes, billion with a “b” — at a $17 billion pre-money valuation. That’s the highest valuation for any private tech company, ever.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post this morning that the company expects to raise a total of $1.4 billion from “top tier institutional investors, mutual funds, private equity and venture capital partners.”
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kalanick noted that revenue is doubling every six months for the San Francisco-based company. Uber, founded in 2010, is now operating its transportation service in 128 cities in 37 countries.
“Uber is changing the fabric of these cities,” Kalanick wrote in the blog post. “At our current rate, Uber is responsible for directly creating 20,000 new jobs per month and powering billions in economic impact in cities around the world – while also improving the environment, reducing DUI rates and fueling urban economic development.”
WSJ also notes that new investors include Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, and BlackRock Inc., with Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and Menlo Ventures also participating. Uber, which previously brought in $258 million this past August, has raised $1.5 billion in total, including cash from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
It’s been quite the four years for Uber, which has drawn praise from consumers who like the convenience, but also the ire of the taxi industry and city regulators for its business practices.
Some cities have even banned Uber outright from operating on its streets over concerns like safety and insurance. In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray may issue a cease-and-desist letter to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar if an agreement over regulations between taxi drivers, city officials and representatives from the transportation startups cannot be reached.