Uber Technologies Inc has received $3.5 billion in its series G round from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) according to The Financial Times. “The deal solidifies Uber’s place as the most-funded start-up in the world and brings its war chest to more than $11bn,” the FT article points out.
Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its investments outside of oil reports Bloomberg News. Along with this fresh round of funding, Uber will also get a new board member – Yasir Al Rumayyan of PIF.
There is an intense global race among ride-sharing companies to capture a chunk of untapped market in countries like India and China. These two countries provide a huge source of opportunity and revenue for ride-sharing companies and that is where they are going to be duking it out. Just a couple of weeks ago Apple’s Tim Cook announced they are investing $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing company. The road to capturing a market share in India and China are not without speed bumps and hurdles. Acquiring customers and staving off competition will require deep pockets for Uber, which has to compete with domestic ride-sharing companies especially in India and China.
And in its home turf of San Francisco Uber faces competition from Lyft. Interestingly Lyft also got a fresh infusion of funds from the Saudi Price Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. according to Bloomberg. Interestingly, Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund sold their shares in Lyft to the Saudi Prince according to Forbes.