Google Grabs Stake in Cars-on-Demand Startup Uber as Part of $258 Mil Round

Google Grabs Stake Cars-on-Demand Startup Uber

Silicon Valley darling Uber, whose app lets users book taxis and car services in real time, has raised $258 million in funding led by Google.

Uber will use the funding to “expand into new markets, accelerate customer and driver acquisition, and fight off protectionist, anti-competitive efforts,” CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post Friday confirming Google’s investment.

TechCrunch reported that the funding round came in at $361.2 million, with Google ponying up $258 million of that. But according to Kalanick, the total from Google, which led the round, and private-equity firm TPG was $258 million.

TPG invested nearly $90 million in Uber, according to documents the startup filed earlier this month. David Drummond, Google’s SVP of corporate development and chief legal officer, and TPG founding partner David Bonderman will be joining Uber’s board.

The latest round values Uber at $3.4 billion or $3.5 billion, according to reports. Google did not respond to a request for comment. Other investors in San Francisco-based Uber, founded in 2009, include Goldman Sachs, Menlo Ventures, Benchmark Capital, First Round Capital and Lowercase Capital.

Google topper Larry Page personally pushed for his company to invest in Uber, according to reports.

Uber offers the ride-hailing service in 24 cities in North America, as well as metro areas in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. The startup had faced legal challenges in municipalities including New York and Washington, D.C., from groups alleging the service violated transportation regulations, but Uber has prevailed in those disputes.

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