Uber, that car service you’ve heard so many wonderful thing about lately, has announced they’ve raised an additional $1.2 billion. The added funding likely values Uber above $40 billion, but that’s not the big story this time around. In getting the added funds, Uber is preparing to invest more in the international market. Specifically, Uber wants to expand their footprint in the Asia Pacific region, where they face stiff competition from domestic incumbents. The move would also give them targets besides Lyft.
In the filing, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Uber was now in 250 cities across 50 countries. According to their website, Uber is currently available in much of the Asia Pacific region, but faces stiff competition from the likes of Ola and Didi, both of whom have deep-pocketed backers.
Kalanick also acknowledges his company isn’t seen in the brightest of light lately. A series of unfortunate revelations about their treatment of rival Lyft, then an off-hand comment threatening to dox journalists who cover the brand negatively made at a dinner party by an Uber exec leave the company out of favor for many. To that, Kalanick had the following to offer:
This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains. The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change. Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps. We are collaborating across the company and seeking counsel from those who have gone through similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.
Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.