Uber announced today that it was raising another $1.2 billion in venture capital, meaning it has raised a whopping $2.7 billion in total. The company has been able to find such willing investors because it's shown staggering growth, on pace to generate $2 billion in annual revenue. The new round reportedly values Uber at roughly $40 billion. That's a staggering appreciation over the last few years. As tech investor Semil Shah pointed out on Twitter:
Not accounting for dilution, $10,000 invested in Uber’s $1.2m seed round ($5m value) now worth $80m. (Again, NOT accounting for dilution!)— Semil (@semil) December 4, 2014
The company has also been the focus of a lot of negative press. Some has focused on the aggressive promises it makes to its drivers around their potential salaries, or the way it encourages them to take out sub-prime auto loans. Others have questioned their partnership with military vets and attempts to sabotage its competitors. There was also the suggestion by company executive Emil Michaels that Uber should look into doing opposition research on journalists who produced negative coverage of Uber.
In announcing the new financing, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote that:
This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains. The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change. Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps. We are collaborating across the company and seeking counsel from those who have gone through similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.