Saudi Arabia invests $3.5 billion in Uber
Uber announced today that it raised $3.5 billion from Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund.
Presently Uber is market leader of ride sharing services in USA. It is trying to penetrate its presence all over the globe, especially in the Middle East area. The current round of funding will help them in this global expansion.
As of today with cash and debt combined Uber is more than $11 billion. This round of funding did not increase its current company value of $62.5 billion. This investment is the largest fund till date for this ridesharing giant.
Uber has operations in Middle East areas such as UAE, Egypt, and partners with Middle Eastern government, who help them hire and train drivers. Uber claims to have more than 395,000 active drivers in this region.
Travis Kalanich, Founder of Uber said in a statement, “We appreciate the vote of confidence in our business as we continue to expand our global presence. Our experience in Saudi Arabia is a great example of how Uber can benefit riders, drivers, and cities and we look forward to partnering to support their economic and social reforms.”
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman formed PIF that holds all the state’s assets. This step was taken to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil for revenue. The kingdom plans to invest these funds in non-oil businesses. Investing in Uber is part of the 2030 plan.
“This ambitious and far-reaching plan presents a number of goals, including unlocking strategic sectors such as tourism and entertainment, boosting employment opportunities and women’s participation in the workforce, and encouraging entrepreneurship,” PIF’s Yasir Al Ruymayyan said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia restricts women to drive, and Uber solves this huge transportation problem. Uber has been operating in this country since 2014 and says 80% of the riders are women.
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