Saudi Arabia’s Investment Fund Is Putting Money in Uber

Posted by at 5:26 pm on June 1, 2016

UberUber Announced today that it is getting a massive cash infusion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund. The fund is putting $3.5 billion into the global firm and will get a seat on Uber’s board of directors.

Funding for new tech companies has been slowing in recent months amid concerns that many startups have been over-valued. But San Francisco-based Uber has been able to raise billions of dollars as it pursues ambitious plans to expand around the world.

Uber says its ride-hailing service now operates in nine countries of the Middle East, one of its fastest-growing markets. In Saudi Arabia, which does not allow women to drive, 80% of Uber passengers are women.

The Saudi money is part of a larger round of funding by several investors, which valued Uber at $62.5 billion. The company, which has raised well over $14 billion since its founding in 2009, says it now has more than $11 billion in cash and available credit to fund its expansion.

Yasir Al Rumayyan, the Saudi fund’s managing director, adds to an already politically savvy board of directors at Uber. Media mogul and former political commentator Arianna Huffington became a board member in April. David Plouffe, who ran President Obama’s 2008 campaign, has been on the board for more than a year.

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