The US ride-sharing company Uber has raised 3.5 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which made its highest ever investment in a foreign company.
In its effort to dominate the ride-sharing global market, Uber has managed to attract a key partner from the Middle East, drawing another massive capital injection at the same time. Therefore, following Uber’s latest found raising round, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund made a 3.5-billion-dollar contribution, keeping Uber’s private valuation of 62.5 billion dollars, the biggest one in the tech industry. As part of the deal, which puts the company’s total balance sheet at more than 11 billion dollars, Yasir Alrumayyan – the managing director of the Saudi fund – will take a seat on the San Francisco-based firm’s board.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence in our business as we continue to expand our global presence,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement. “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.”
Uber is determined to expand its operations in the Middle East and North Africa as well, already announcing a further 250-million-dollar investment in the region, where it offers its services in nine countries and 15 cities. In the first quarter of the year, it had more than 395,000 active riders across the region, 5 times more than in 2015, and 19,000 active drivers, up 400 percent over the same period.