Uber Raises Another Billion To Continue Expansion Amid Controversies

Uber may be dogged by controversies around the world, but there is no let-up in enthusiasm from investors for the taxi app. The company has just announced it raised the ceiling of its US$1.2 billion series E by a further US$1 billion. This is the second time Uber raised the ceiling of this round, previously extending it by US$600 million. So the latest additional funding brings Uber’s series E round to a whopping total of US$2.8 billion.

Billions of reasons why

“The participation we have seen in Uber’s series E underscores the confidence investors have in Uber’s growth, the key priorities of UberPool, and further international expansion,” said a spokesperson for Uber, confirming the latest funding to Tech in Asia.

Uber recently launched a ride-sharing facility on its app, called UberPool. It is in beta mode to iron out wrinkles, but will be rolled out across the world. Since its launch in 2010, Uber has expanded to some 200 cities worldwide in more than 50 countries.

After the series E funding in December, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had said in a blog post that the Asia Pacific region would be a focus area for new investments, both for expansion as well as “internal growth and change” to take care of “growing pains.”

That was the month when Uber got banned in several Indian cities following the rape of a female passenger in Delhi.

Uber has made a number of moves since then to assure Indian transport authorities that it is adding new safety measures. These include a tie-up with First Advantage for driver screening and an SOS button in its app to call police in an emergency. It also applied for a radio taxi license in India, after initially claiming that licensing regulations cannot apply to a taxi app.

But Uber is still short of meeting the requirements of the Delhi Transport Department. These include a call center to handle customer needs, fare meters in its vehicles, and a change in status to a transport provider. The last provision will put liabilities on Uber for accidents, which is a bone of contention between Uber and authorities in several countries.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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