Uber Said to Seek $1.5 Billion in Funds at $50 Billion Valuation

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick
The San Francisco-based company, led by Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, is using the cash to expand operations to cities across the globe. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. plans to raise $1.5 billion in a new funding round that will boost the car-booking startup’s valuation to $50 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Uber is still in early discussions with backers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Uber, which was previously valued at $40 billion when it raised financing earlier this year, is benefiting from investors who view its car-booking technology as the future of transport. The San Francisco-based company, led by Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, is using the cash to expand operations to cities across the globe. Uber may also need funding for acquisitions, following a report by the New York Times this week that it submitted a bid for HERE, Nokia Oyj’s maps business, for as much as $3 billion.

Kristin Carvell, a spokeswoman for Uber, declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the new financing round.

Uber, which has one of the highest valuations for a closely held technology startup, sought $2.8 billion in February in its last funding round. It also closed $1.6 billion in convertible debt from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s wealth management clients in January. In addition to expanding into new locations, Uber needs money to invest in research and development and improving safety, and to expand its UberPool carpooling service.

Uber, founded in 2009 by Kalanick and Garrett Camp, has expanded to about 300 cities in 57 countries. The service has disrupted established taxi and limousine companies, which have often responded with protests. Uber has also upset regulators, who have sued or banned the company from California to Brazil.

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