Online taxi aggregator Uber will invest in India a “substantial portion” of the $3.5-billion (roughly Rs. 23,213 crores) funding raised from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, as the US-based firm is looking to overtake local rival Ola.
Uber has raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, valuing the company at $62.5 billion (roughly Rs. 4,20,544 crores) and making it one of the most highly valued venture capital-backed companies globally.
“A substantial portion will be for India. We have grown exponentially over the last two years and remain bullish on the Indian market where we continue to register remarkable growth,” Uber India President Amit Jain told PTI.
It is a global fund and will be used for strategic investments in global priority markets like India, he added. “With this investment, we have more than $11 billion (roughly Rs. 74,018 crores) in our war chest to invest in our product and markets to grow and compete,” Jain said.
In July last year, Uber had announced an investment of $1 billion in India to expand its services in India. It has also set up a response and support centre in Hyderabad with an investment of $50 million.
Jain, however, did not comment if the company has exhausted the earmarked sum.
Uber, which competes with Softbank-backed Ola in India, said the company witnessed a 26 times growth in 2015 over the previous year.
“India is our third largest market, after the US and China, in terms of number of trips. Our focus is on growing the business here,” Jain said.
Uber is present in over 460 cities, globally. In China also, Uber is facing competition from Alibaba-backed Didi Kuaidi.
Interestingly, Didi is also a strategic investor in Ola.