Bloomberg is reporting that Uber is seeking $2.1 billion in financing that would value the ride-hailing company at a whopping $62.5 billion. This would cement Uber's status as the most valuable technology startup in the world, as it seeks a Facebook-level valuation before eventually going public. A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment on the report.
This would be Uber's third billion-plus financing round this year. In January, the San Francisco-based company raised $1.6 billion in convertible debt from wealthy clients of Goldman Sachs Wealth Management. Then in July, Uber tacked on another $1 billion from a number of investors, including Microsoft. Since launching five years ago, the company has raised over $10 billion.
But don't expect an IPO any time soon
Still, CEO Travis Kalanick says Uber is nowhere close to an IPO. He has resisted calls from his Silicon Valley peers, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to go public, arguing the company isn't quite there yet.
"We're maturing as a company, but we're still like eighth graders," Kalanick said at the WSJDLive conference last October. "We're in junior high. And someone's telling us we need to go to the prom, but it's a little early. Give us a few years."
The latest round of fundraising comes as Uber seeks to become something more than just a car service. It has been testing out pooled rides, food and package deliveries, and involvement in driverless car technology.
Uber has grown exponentially over the last year. It now says it has 400,000 drivers in the US and over 8 million users. It's available in 67 countries, and despite pressure from established taxi businesses and regulators, shows no sign of slowing down.
Still, experts have questioned the company's underlying economics, arguing that unlike other tech companies like Amazon, Uber offers few efficiencies to the industry it seeks to disrupt. The question is, after all the fundraising and media frenzy dies down, whether the costs of insurance, driver training, and maintenance will make Uber's sky-high valuation unsustainable.