Report: Uber looking to raise new funding

Steven Loeb · July 13, 2013 · Short URL:

No specific number given, but funding could be in the hundreds of millions

Uber knows that there is a lot of competition out there, and it has been doing whatever it can to stay ahead, from cutting prices to expanding to new, and less regulated, markets

What would really help, though, would be a new round of funding. And, hey, that's exactly what the e-hailing service is looking to get, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick confirmed that the company has been speaking to investors, but he declined to say how much the company would raise or the potential valuation. According to another source, though, the company is expected to raised a fund work hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since being founded in March 2009, Uber has raised over $57 million, most recently a $37 million Series B round led by Shervin Pishevar’s Menlo Ventures, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Goldman Sachs in September 2012.

Obviously more capital could help stave off some of the competition that has popped up.

 When it launched in 2010, Uber was a revolutionary new kind of service: an on-demand transportation app, one which would allow users to connect with a luxury car service directly from their smartphones. The idea was that it would be more convenient, and reliable, than trying to get a taxi in a big city like San Francisco. And it worked. The service quickly expanded from San Francisco, and it now operates in 35 markets all over the country.

Uber was a victim of its own success, though, as it led to a rash of new services, including ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Sidecar, which are cheaper to use than Uber since they do not use drivers who are licensed to operate commercial vehicles.

Just yesterday Lyft sold off Zimride, its carpooling product, to put greater focus on the mobile ride-sharing side of the business. Lyft also raised $60 million from Andreessen Horowitz in May.

To keep ahead of the pack, Uber has been cutting prices. In January it lowered the prices on its standard Uber Black car service by 10%, and last month it announced that it would be lowing prices on its uberX fleet as well, in order to make them 10% cheaper than a taxi.

UberX, which first launched in July 2012, is a fleet made of mostly hybrids, as well as some smaller sedans. The service was already Uber's way of competing with ride-sharing service, and was considered a lower cost option to Uber's standard Black service.

Uber, which has operations in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, the Hamptons, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Toronto and Washington D.C., has also been looking to new markets, specifically those in Asia.

The company has begun rolling out its service in three Asian locations in six months: first launching in Singapore in January, then in Seoul and Taipei in June.

Vator has reached out to Uber for comment, and we will update if we learn more.

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