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App-enabled cab company Uber today confirmed that it has raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is the investing arm of the Saudi Arabian kingdom. The money came in at Uber’s valuation of $62.5 billion, which is the same amount at which it reportedly raised $2.1 billion late last year.
The investment is part of Uber’s series G round, but it’s very large and noteworthy on its own. Now Uber has more than $11 billion on its balance sheet, according to an Uber spokesperson. For perspective, that’s more than publicly traded Twitter ($6.47 billion, as of March 31).
Of course, Saudi Arabia is affiliated with oil, so for the investors, this deal can fairly be called strategic.
“The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is excited to have completed this important strategic investment with Uber, an extraordinary company with an inspiring mission,” Yasir Al Rumayyan, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s managing director, said in a statement. “We’ve seen first-hand how this company has improved urban mobility around the world and we’re looking forward to being part of that progress.”
“As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment arm, we’re focused on achieving attractive long-term financial returns from our investments, while supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the blueprint for diversifying our economy away from oil. This ambitious and far-reaching plan presents a number of goals, including unlocking strategic sectors such as tourism and entertainment, boosting employment opportunities and women’s participation in the workforce, and encouraging entrepreneurship.”
And Al Rumayyan is right to talk about return on investment — when San Francisco-based Uber finally goes public, the deal should have a considerable payout.
Toyota also recently invested in seven-year-old Uber.
Meanwhile, Uber’s competitors have been picking up big sums of money lately, too. Apple put $1 billion into Didi Chuxing of China, while GM put $500 million behind Lyft. Ola of India raised $500 million last year.
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