The ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. is planning to raise $1 billion in new venture capital, sources close to the matter told the New York Times Friday. The news comes barely three months after its last round of funding as Uber seems poised for a valuation of $60 billion to $70 billion, the report said.
The latest round of funding, if successful, would make Uber the world’s most valuable private start-up , the Times said. Uber is valued at more than $50 billion at present. This would be the eighth round of financing that the company has sought over the last five years.
The report did not mention which investors were involved in the latest round. Uber's current investors include Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures and Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc.
Uber has raised funds at a furious pace as it aims to dethrone the much-stronger Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Kuaidi in China. The two have spent heavily on subsidies to get the best deal for users and drivers. Last week, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick said that about 30 percent of trips on Uber now take place in China.
As it aggressively pushes its prospects in the Asia Pacific region and Europe, Uber faces stiff competition from local ride-hailing services and frequent clampdowns from government regulators. The company has earmarked more than $1 billion to face regulatory fights in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, over the last year.
However, swelling investor appetite for its growth plans has allowed Uber to gain foothold in new markets faster and offer cheaper rides to users. Earlier this year, the company said it was opening in a new location every other day.
Investors are pouring money into the US-based company at a rapid rate in what they see as huge potential in untapped opportunities like on-demand delivery services, according to the Times. Uber has made initial forays into widening its services pool with projects like Uber Eats, a food delivery service, and Uber Rush, a shopping delivery service in certain cities.