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Uber Closes $1.6 Billion in Financing - The New York Times

PhotoAn Uber driver in Newport Beach, Calif., gets a ride request on his cell phone.Credit Christine Cotter for The New York Times

Uber, the popular ride-hailing start-up, has closed $1.6 billion in financing from clients of Goldman Sachss private wealth arm, the investment bank confirmed on Wednesday.

The new round of financing comes just months after the company raised $1.2 billion from big institutions. Including that investment, the company is valued at some $41.2 billion, one of the richest-ever valuations for a private start-up.

Moreover, Uber may still raise an additional $600 million in stock from hedge funds and strategic overseas investors, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing.

Representatives from Uber declined to comment.


Questions of Responsibility at Uber

In January, The New York Times interviewed Ubers C.E.O., Travis Kalanick, about the ride-sharing companys business practices, including liability in accidents.

By Sean Patrick Farrell on Publish Date January 26, 2014. Photo by Jack Atley for The New York Times.

The funding adds to Ubers already overflowing war chest; to date, the company has raised upward of $4 billion.

With the new cash, Uber has more incentive to take on a new life as a publicly traded company. The securities sold to Goldmans clients — in what was one of the biggest-ever sales of convertible debt — can be converted into shares in the start-up once it begins trading on a stock exchange, at a discount of 20 percent to 30 percent of the price set in an initial public offering, people briefed on the matter have said.

Should the company not stage an I.P.O. within four years, however, the interest rate on those securities will rise.

But the new capital also comes as Uber is poised to enter competitive transportation markets around the globe. Travis Kalanick, Ubers chief executive, said in December that Uber planned to make substantial investments in the Asia Pacific region, where the company faces competition from incumbents such as GrabTaxi, a ride-hailing start-up backed by SoftBank.

Uber also has its sights set on Europe, another lucrative market, where the company has long fought with rival transportation operators like Hailo, which offers a similar service. On Sunday, Mr. Kalanick said that Uber wanted to better cooperate with European officials, many of which his company has clashed with in the past.

News of the financing was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

A version of this article appears in print on 01/22/2015, on page B7 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Overflowing War Chest.

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