Uber sees $1 billion Series E venture funding surge

Uber has increased its latest Series E funding round amount by $1 billion after receiving increased interest from investors, with the round reaching a total capacity of $2.8 billion.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Uber has seen the value of its latest venture funding round surge by $1 billion to $2.2 billion, with the round's total capacity reaching $2.8 billion, according to reports.

The New York Times' Mike Isaac reported that documents filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on Wednesday revealed the billion-dollar increase of the ride-sharing app developer's Series E round.

Uber has since confirmed that the move, which follows hot on the heels of a $1.2 billion Series E round that the company closed in December. That round valued Uber at $41.2 billion after investments, according to Forbes. The company had left room for an additional $600 million of further investment for its Series E round. However, following increased demand, that figure swelled to $1 billion.

"The participation we have seen in Uber's Series E underscores the confidence investors have in Uber's growth and the key priorities of UberPool and further international expansion," said an Uber spokesperson.

The New York Times reported that Chinese internet company Baidu accounts for some portion of the additional investment above the earlier $1.2 billion round.

Prior to this latest funding boost, the San Francisco-headquartered company had raised close to $5 billion, including a $1.6 billion round of convertible debt financing from the private wealth arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Uber is among the top two most valuable venture-backed companies in the world, along with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.

Fellow Californian app developer Snapchat could soon take third place in the venture-backed valuation stakes, with the company reportedly on the hunt for a $500 million funding round, which, if successfully closed, would see the company with a $19 billion valuation figure.

Uber's deepening pockets will likely allow the company to step up its already rapid global expansion regime, and continue to pay fines issued to its drivers for contravening local transport laws in many of the various markets in which it operates, such as Australia and Taiwan.

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.

Meanwhile, as of December last year, the Taiwanese government had reportedly issued Uber with 30 tickets worth approximately AU$98,635 for violating its laws, while Uber drivers in the country received 33 penalties, worth around AU$63,000.

The company has also come under intense scrutiny over rider safety and driver checks, following rape and assault charges for several of its drivers globally.

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