Google Ventures pumps US$257.7m into on-demand car service Uber

23 Aug 2013

In what has to be the largest investment by Google Ventures yet, the search giant’s investment arm has invested US$257.7m in on-demand car service Uber, as part of an investment round valuing the company at US$3.4bn.

According to AllThingsD, in a public filing Uber has raised US$257.7m from Google Ventures, US$142.5m from Benchmark Capital and US$114m from TPG, as well as shares bought by existing investors, including Garret Camp.

The total investment gives the San Francisco,California, service a valuation estimated at US$3.5bn.

Future Human

It is understood to have been a competitive investment round, with Google’s participation made possible because of the direct intervention of Google CEO Larry Page.

Intelligent, on-demand car services are on the rise.

Uber’s competitor Lyft recently raised US$60m and taxi app firm Hailo received a US$50m investment from Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

In addition, technology developed by successful tech investor Sean O’Sullivan’s Cork-based cloud technology company Avego recently came to the rescue of tens of thousands of San Francisco commuters who were caught up in the recent BART rail worker strike.

The service, which is supported by the US Federal Government and Department of Transport, saw an 8,825pc increase in new users during the strike.

Car image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years