The ridesharing app Uber received a major boost on Friday when it received a $1.2 billion funding round, valuing the company at $17 billion.
How big of a deal is this for Uber?
It's big. Not only is $17 billion a huge valuation for a startup. It's one of the largest funding rounds for a startup, ever. The added cash will help Uber continue its expansion from the nearly 130 cities it already serves around the world and separate itself from the competition.
Put it into context
The $17 billion valuation means that Uber is worth about as much as two big names in the rental cars space -- Avis and Hertz -- combined.
That's amazing, but can a five-year company really be worth that much?
It's worth whatever someone is willing to pay, right? Yeah, but some still think it's valued too high. The main concerns: the concept can be, and is being, imitated (limiting growth potential) and Uber's legal ambiguity around the world. Others, like the round's top investor Fidelity Investments, think that the investment will seem like a bargain in a few years.
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