Uber has announced a new, huge funding round, with the on-demand taxi replacement service raising another $1.2bn on a whopping $17bn valuation. The company – which has been disrupting traditional cab services by summoning cars, towncars, and SUVs from a smartphone app – expects to raise around $1.4bn in total.
It’s an impressive valuation, particularly since it’s actually only four years since Uber began operations in San Francisco. Today, there are operations in 128 cities across 37 countries.
Uber hasn’t detailed exactly which companies have handed over cash, saying only that the round includes “top tier” institutional investors, along with mutual funds, private equity and venture capital partners.
The path to the new funding round hasn’t been entirely smooth, however. The company currently faces a lawsuit in Connecticut, with a coalition of cab companies taking the upstart to court, while only this week the firm was sued under discrimination legislation, with allegations it denies service to disabled people.
Those headaches, as well as lingering questions around insurance and liability, look unlikely to stop Uber any time soon, however. The company is already embedded in Google Maps.