Uber, the service which allows users to find chauffeur hire in major worldwide cities, has taken a massive investment from Google Ventures.
As reported on AllThingsD, Uber Technologies has also sold stock to the private equity firm TPG Capital. TPG invested $88.4 million in return for 775,092 shares, paying a lower per-share cost than the other investors, though it is unknown why.
Uber provides its service through mobile apps, letting users quickly find chauffeur-driven luxury vehicles. The service, founded in early 2009, works in over 40 cities as far spread as London, New York and Singapore.
Due to Uber’s claimed luxury and punctuality, including tracking of any requested cars, prices are generally higher than conventional taxi services. To combat complaints of expensive prices, Uber has recently introduced ‘UberTaxis’, which are lower-priced non-luxury cars. It has also been known to experiment, with the ‘UberCHOPPER’ service providing helicopter hire and ‘Uber Ice Cream’ allowing users to order an ice cream truck in honour of ‘National Ice Cream Month’ in the US.
Uber is quickly-growing, with a valuation of the San Francisco-based company on August 1st sitting it at $3.5 billion. It’s a huge growth, with AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes commenting that ‘A year and a half ago […] the company was valued at $330 million.’
The biggest investor in Uber to emerge is Google Ventures, investing $257.79 million. The move by Google’s capital investment arm is its biggest ever, claiming almost 90 per cent of Google Ventures’ $300 million annual fund.
With the deal, Google Ventures’ co-founder David Drummond has joined the Uber board, alongside the co-founder of TPG, David Bonderman.