Uber’s latest funding round could boost its value to $50 billion

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in Madrid
The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street is seen in this photo illustration taken in Madrid on December 10, 2014.
Photograph by Sergio Perez — Reuters

After raising a total of more than $2 billion from investors in June and December last year, Uber is now back for another round.

The ride-hailing company is in talks to raise around $1.5 billion in financing, which could value it at $50 billion, or even higher, according to the New York Times.

That valuation would make Uber the world’s most valuable private start-up, eclipsing Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi, which was last valued at $45 billion, the paper said. A $50 billion would also make Uber worth more than publicly traded companies such as FedEx (FDX), which has a market value of $48 billion.

The shrinking time between funding rounds shows how Silicon Valley’s current boom is not just about start-ups reaching a high valuation, but also about how fast they can pull that off, the newspaper said.

Last week, the newspaper reported that the taxi service had submitted a $3 billion bid for Nokia Oyj’s map business HERE.

Finland’s Nokia said last month it had started a strategic review of HERE, a competitor to Google (GOOG) Maps, after announcing a planned takeover of network equipment rival Alcatel-Lucent SA.

Uber is competing against a consortium of automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the newspaper said.

The German automakers are teaming up with the Chinese search engine Baidu on the offer, while a private equity firm has submitted a separate bid, the report said.
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