Unicorn on steroids Uber is now valued at $62.5bn after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund made a $3.5bn investment in the ride-sharing firm, the largest investment of its kind ever made by the fund.
It is also the single biggest investment that Uber has taken on yet and brings its total balance of both cash and debt to more than $11bn.
The investment does not cash out any of Uber’s existing investors.
Saudi Arabia is looking to transform its economy under its Vision 2030 strategy, which involves reducing the country’s dependence on oil and oil-related industries.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence in our business as we continue to expand our global presence,” Uber founder Travis Kalanick said.
“Our experience in Saudi Arabia is a great example of how Uber can benefit riders, drivers, and cities and we look forward to partnering to support their economic and social reforms.”
In Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed to drive, 80pc of Uber customers are understood to be women.
Uber has emerged to become the poster child for the digital disruption of many industries. Last year, it emerged that Uber has exerted such a grip on New York, for example, that the number of Uber vehicles on the road now outnumber the city’s iconic yellow cabs.
The $3.5bn investment is the latest in a series of mega rounds, with messaging player Snapchat raising $1.8bn last week.
Travis Kalanick image via Le Web on Creative Commons