Uber Continues to Pile Up Cash, Force Taxis to Change

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Uber Continues to Pile Up Cash, Force Taxis to Change

The driver-hailing app co. received yet another colossal boost in funding.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

In the latest on “ride-sharing” vs. taxis, Wired posts today that San Francisco’s oldest cab company just unveiled a major rebranding to stay competitive — and the New York Times reports that Uber has expanded its latest funding round by $1 billion. The company is valued at $40 billion. (I’ll take this chance to point “sharing economy” skeptics to a recent Cato Institute essay that author Avi Asher-Schapiro opens with “Taking an Uber is not sharing, just like buying a footlong meatball sandwich at Subway is not ‘eating fresh.’”)

The Times notes of Uber’s allure:

Facing overwhelming demand from institutional investors, Uber has expanded its Series E round of venture financing by $1 billion, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Delaware secretary of state, bringing the total capacity for the round up to $2.8 billion.

Uber has received plenty of criticism and some reluctant praise since its initial 2009 launch. Now available in 200 cities, spanning 54 countries, and picking up smart-phone-toting users everywhere from Des Moines, Iowa to New York City, the company’s aiming for growth in the populous Asian-Pacific market.

“Uber is likely to need full pockets to continue its rapid growth,” the Times notes.

Part of this expansion includes UberPool, a sort of Uber-meets-car-share initiative connecting passengers heading in the same direction to cut cost and maybe win over some environmentally minded consumers. The company is launching the new service in Los Angeles today.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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Tags: ubertaxissharing economy

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