Uber could soon be the most valuable startup of all time

Travis Kalanick(AP Photo/Paul Sakluma, File)Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Car-hailing app Uber is looking to raise between $US1.5 and $US2 billion in a new funding round that would value the company at more than $US50 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports

A round of that size would make San Francisco-based Uber the highest-valued private startup of all time — only Facebook managed to break the $US50 billion valuation barrier while still a private company. 

What’s more, the report indicates that the talks are still ongoing, and that valuation could go even higher, which would make Uber’s growth curve even more astounding. In February of 2014, the company was said to be valued at $US18 billion. Just this past December, the company was valued at $US41 billion.

Now, in the scant six months since that round, Uber could have added another $US10 billion or more to its valuation.  

Uber already holds the record for most-funded startup: It’s raised $US5.9 billion over ten rounds of venture capital funding in the past six years, as Silicon Valley’s elite trip over themselves to get in on Uber’s explosive growth, fuelled by the company’s aggressive expansion strategy in 250 countries around the globe.

Those same investors seem nonplussed by the mismatch between the company’s valuation and its financials. Uber’ did about $US400 million in revenue last year, which would make a $US50 billion valuation worth around 120 times the cash it actually pulls in. For reference, Facebook’s $US50 billion valuation was based on $US2 billion of revenue.

It’s no wonder Uber had the pockets to make a rumoured $US3 billion bid for Nokia’s Here Maps unit.


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