Uber, now the world’s most valuable startup, has completed a new round of funding that has seen the company raise $1 billion and forge an unlikely alliance with another giant technology company.
Uber’s $1 billion cash call has caused a stir in global financial markets, especially after it was revealed that Microsoft had contributed much of the $ 1 billion sought.
It is still unclear how much Microsoft contributed. Initial reports refer to a “substantial amount” but neither of the two companies has disclosed the exact figure.
The new valuation easily makes Uber the most valuable startup in the world with a valuation of $51 billion. The record’s previous holder was China’s smartphone making startup Xiaomi, with a valuation of $45 billion.
Another investor identified in Uber’s cash call is Bennett Coleman and Company, parent company to the Times Group, the Indian media conglomerate that controls The Economic Times, The Times of India and several other regional newspapers.
Much of Uber’s deal with Microsoft was not made public, making the computer software’s motive unknown. The deal, however, is not the first time the two companies have worked together.
In June, Microsoft sold off a portion of its Bing Maps to the cab-hailing company for an undocumented sum. The sale also saw Uber absorb 100 staff from Redmond to run the newly acquired Bing maps unit.
The two giants have also worked together in integrating Uber into Redmond’s Cortana voice-controlled assistant. The integration enables users to hail an Uber ride as scheduled meetings on calendar approaches.
Microsoft’s new investment in Uber has been viewed by analysts as more than just a contribution but a partnership.
Through a statement, the taxi-hailing company has said it would use the additional capital to fund its expansion into new territories.
Uber, which started in 2009, has a presence in over 300 countries across the globe and is currently planning on increasing its presence in India, Southeast Asia and China.
Uber’s meteoric rise has seen it make several key partnerships, key among which has been its relationship with Microsoft. The two companies plan to remain strong partners in future, a future that will usher a new age of driverless driving.