Uber receives $3.5 billion investment from Saudi wealth fund

http://nairobidigest.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/uber-2.jpgUber receives $3.5 billion investment from Saudi wealth fund

Uber Technologies Inc. said it received its biggest investment to date, raising $3.5 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

The investment valued Uber at $62.5 billion, the same amount as its previous valuation, the company said. Yasir Al Rumayyan, the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, will take a board seat.

Saudi Arabia has been looking for ways to diversify its investments outside of the oil industry. Lyft Inc., the second-largest ride-hailing company in the US, has raised at least $100 million from Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co.

“As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment arm, we’re focused on achieving attractive long-term financial returns from our investments,” Al Rumayyan said in a statement.

Uber expanded its previous financing round to include the investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The money brings Uber’s total balance sheet, including cash and convertible debt, to more than $11 billion, the company said. The cash infusion helps the company push off the need to go public.

Uber is currently operating in nine countries and 15 cities in the Middle East and North Africa. The company said it has committed to investing $250 million in the region. It’s continuing to spend much more than that in China and India.

There’s no shortage of investment to ride-hailing companies around the world. Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing company that’s Uber’s biggest global competitor, said last month that it raised $1 billion from Apple Inc. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its finance affiliate invested another $400 million in the Chinese company. India’s Ola is also well-capitalized and spending aggressively on expansion.

Bloomberg

Author Description

Harrison Karemeri

Harry is an accountant, freelance writer and a biz-tech enthusiast. He is currently head of finance and managing editor at Nairobi Digest. Harry has watched John Q 13 times! Follow on twitter; @karemeryl