Daily Management Review

Tata Group Invests Nearly $100 Million in Uber


While facing intense competition from local Asian rivals like Ola, Singapore's GrabTaxi and China's Didi Kuaidi, the San Francisco based company has managed to secure an investment of anything between $80-100 million from the Indian Manufacturing Group Tata.
This is also the time when Uber announced their intention to raise capital from Asian investors due to competition from Asian companies.
For Tata, this is the first investment of the global company in a company that is headquartered outside of India.
The investment would be made through the Tata Group's private equity arm Tata Opportunities Fund. The company is reported to have already made the investment in the taxi-hailing application company.
While not disclosing the value of the investment made in Uber by Tata, official sources in the cab hailing company said that the deal was financial and strategic in nature and that the cab start-up would look at opportunities to work with the Tata Group in the future. The scope of the joint ventures was also not revealed.

"We're particularly focused on building a great service for hundreds of millions of Indians — and Tata's leadership and experience will be crucial in helping us meet this important goal,” said Travis Kalanick, Uber's co-founder and CEO in a press statement.

Tata Group, in their response to the news said: “this was the fund's first tech investment and was in line with the mandate to back companies across all stages. Uber has been transformational and is differentiated in many ways. We invest in companies which are in a high cash burn mode but then they have a clear path to profit the investments, the ability drawn up”.  
Though nothing has been confirmed by the top brass of Uber, there are definitive media reports that the company has been able to raise $1 billion from Microsoft Corp. and the investment arm of Bennett Coleman & Co. Uber has also not named any of the investors.
Uber, the global cab hailing company, has managed to raise close to $5 billion till date while the valuation of the company is not pegged at about $51 billion.
Very recently, an undisclosed amount was invested in the company by China's largest search engine company Baidu.
 Talking about their first out-of –India investments, a Tata Group official said that as an investor that are no typical venture investors and hence the company looks at cash flows and the company believes that there is a path to profitability for Uber in the near future.
Uber has been dong satisfactorily in the Asian markets troubled by competition from Local companies and hence the company had announced an investment of $1 billion in the Indian market over the next six to nine months. This was the same policy that the company had adopted in China to successfully counter the threats posed by the local cab calling companies.
The investment by the Tata Group is not included in the planned investment amount. The investment in India would be done primarily for doling out discounts and promotions by the company which is presently operational in 18 cities in India. 

Uber is operational in more than 60 countries in the world. The company has however been part of constant issues across the world
(Source:www.timesofindia.com &  www.ft.com)