Ride-sharing company Uber may soon be worth an estimated $50 billion if it is successful in raising between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in its next funding round.
Uber informed investors of its plans last Friday, according to initial reports by The Wall Street Journal, which suggested that the San Francisco-based firm could potentially become the most valuable venture-backed startup in history.
In February, Uber completed a $2.8 billion funding round, with the company also closing a $1.2 billion Series E round last December, which valued Uber at $41.2 billion.
Prior to that, Uber was being valued at $17 billion after it received a $1.2 billion funding round boost from investors. At that time, Uber was worth about as much as two big names in the rental car space -- Avis and Hertz -- combined.
Uber's deepening pockets are likely to see the company intensify its rapid global expansion plans, while using a pittance of the raised capital to help pay fines on behalf of drivers who were caught contravening local transport laws in various markets in which it operates, including Australia.
It emerged in January that in Sydney, UberX drivers have been issued with at least AU$28,500 worth of fines by the NSW Roads and Maritime Service, while as of May last year, more than AU$50,000 worth of fines had been issued to UberX drivers in Victoria. Local drivers indicated that Uber had been covering the costs of these fines.
The extra capital could also be put towards funding Uber's recent $3 billion bid on Nokia's Here mapping business.