Google Ventures, the private investment arm of the tech behemoth, is believed to be the lead investor behind a $361.2 million deal with Uber Taxi, an on-demand black-car service operating in Toronto and other cities around the world.
According to a story published in TechCrunch yesterday, Google Ventures is responsible for $258 million of the Series C investment, making it the venture firm’s largest investment to date, representing 86 per cent of its $300 million dollar annual fund. Google Ventures co-founder David Drummond is also rumored to be joining Uber’s board.
Since it’s founding in 2009, the San Francisco-based on-demand transportation service has quickly found its way into 35 major cities all over the world. From Melbourne to Minneapolis, Sydney to Singapore, smartphone users across the planet can use Uber’s mobile application to order a town car or SUV to their location.
Uber has also been diversifying its offering as of late, experimenting with an on-demand ice-cream delivery service, and providing rides from New York City to the Hamptons via helicopter and ground transportation, with an experimental service launched in July called UberCHOPPER.
It is rumored that Uber will use its latest investment round to expand into new territories and experiment with other transportation and delivery services, in an attempt to increase its completive advantage over rival on-demand taxi services.
Competitors such as Lyft, which recently raised $60 million, and Hailo, who received a $50 million boost from Richard Branson himself, still remain active players in the on-demand transportation industry.