Uber shrugs off controversy, is today worth $40-billion


The cool and controversial Uber, which is taking over the world’s transportation industry one ride-along at a time, just got US$1.2-billion investment. This means that the five-year-old company carries a US$40-billion price tag which is six times bigger than 12 months ago. The backing comes at an interesting time as Uber’s been facing a lot of flak from media and its users.

Within the last year, the behemoth scaled from operating in 60 cities across the globe to 250, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa.

Read more: Uber offers on-demand barber service to celebrate Movember’s end

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick writes that the financing will allow the San Francisco-based company to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region as well “additional capacity remaining for strategic investments.”

No details were outed on the names behind the latest financial backing.

The investment comes at an interesting time as the company’s been facing heaps of bad publicity in light of privacy infringements. Last months Emil Michael, Uber’s senior VP for business reportedly said that the black car service should hire a team of researchers to “dig up dirt” on journalists who gives the company a bad reputation.

The company also flaunted around its so-called God View party trick during in-house meetings that enables Uber to track users location.

Read more: Lyft accuses former COO of stealing confidential documents for Uber

Apparently there’s no thing such as bad publicity after all.

In an announcement Uber points out to these “growth pains”, saying it acknowledges the mistakes made and hopes to alter its agenda going forward:

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.

Uber goes on to say that it aspires to be 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.”

Image via Wired



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