Home > Uncategorized > Microsoft Said to Invest Big Sum in Uber

Microsoft Said to Invest Big Sum in Uber

 Microsoft has agreed to invest in Uber, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as part of a funding round that values the ride-hailing company at around $51 billion.

If the deal is finalized, Microsoft’s contribution would be a substantial amount of the financing, which totals about $1 billion, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details of the fund-raising are not public.

“We filed to authorize this new funding more than two months ago,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement. “The filing is available to the public. We aren’t commenting on additional speculation.”

A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment. Microsoft’s participation was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

This new round cements Uber’s place as one of the most richly valued private companies ever, along with other start-ups like Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company valued by investors at around $45 billion, and Airbnb, the short-term lodging service valued at more than $24 billion.

It is also the latest fund-raising spree undertaken by Uber, which has added billions of dollars to its surging war chest. Uber has earmarked significant money for expansion into new markets like China, India and greater Southeast Asia. On Thursday, an Uber representative said the company had set aside $1 billion to spur growth specifically in India, where the company has faced stiff competition from local ride-hailing services.

Microsoft’s participation is a new development and may indicate a growing partnership between Uber and the software giant, which is based in Redmond, Wash. In May, a person familiar with the matter said this particular round of fund-raising was intended to form strategic alliances while simultaneously bolstering Uber’s coffers.

Uber has a history of bringing in important partners during funding rounds. In December, Baidu, the Chinese search giant, invested hundreds of millions in Uber. And in March, Times Internet, the digital venture of the Times of India Group media conglomerate, said it had agreed to a strategic investment in Uber.

Microsoft, too, has long invested in companies with which it may want to do business. In 2007, Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, an investment that led to product integrations between the two companies. In the past, Skype video chat and Microsoft’s Bing search engine have been used to power Facebook software.

Uber recently acquired a portion of Microsoft’s mapping-technology assets and extended employment offers to more than 100 Microsoft employees. And while neither company has announced plans for a partnership, Microsoft’s struggling mobile app ecosystem could benefit if Uber devotes more resources to making its service available on Windows devices. Uber came out with a mobile app for Windows smartphones last year, well after it was available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software.

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