Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015

Uber Expands Overflowing War Chest with $1.6 Billion in Financing

big brother uber

Popular ride-sharing startup Uber has attracted $1.6 billion in financing from clients of Goldman Sachs’s private wealth arm, the investment bank said, according to the New York Times.

The new round of financing comes several months after the company brought in $1.2 billion from big institutions. Including that investment, the company is valued at some $41.2 billion, one of the richest-ever valuations for a private startup, the Times said.

To date, the company has raised upward of $4 billion. With the new cash, Uber has more incentive to take on a new life as a publicly traded company, the report said.

The securities sold to Goldman’s clients — in what was one of the biggest-ever sales of convertible debt — can be converted into shares in the start-up once it begins trading on a stock exchange, at a discount of 20 percent to 30 percent of the price set in an initial public offering, people briefed on the matter have said, according to the Times.

Should the company not stage an IPO within four years, however, the interest rate on those securities will rise, the report said.

But the new capital also comes as Uber is poised to enter competitive transportation markets around the globe. CEO Travis Kalanick said in December that Uber planned to make substantial investments in the Asia Pacific region, where the company faces competition from incumbents such as GrabTaxi, a ride-hailing start-up backed by SoftBank, the Times said.

Uber also has its sights set on Europe, another lucrative market, where the company has long fought with rival transportation operators like Hailo, which offers a similar service. On Sunday, Kalanick said that Uber wanted to better cooperate with European officials, many of which his company has clashed with in the past, the report said.

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