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Friday, Aug 23
Google buys 7% stake in transportation service Uber for $258M
- The investment, made by Google's (GOOG -0.2%) VC arm (Google Ventures), comes through a funding round that also featured P-E firm TPG, and which values Uber at a lofty $3.5B. It was only in late 2011 that Uber closed a funding round valuing it at a mere $330M.
- Both AllThingsD and TechCrunch report Larry Page personally pushed for the deal to happen. TechCrunch adds Page sold Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Google's ability to help Uber expand beyond transportation services (the company has done some ice cream delivery promos in the past).
- Uber, a darling of the Silicon Valley startup scene, has been making taxicab companies lose sleep (and sometimes mount legal challenges) by allowing customers to quickly request a ride from one of its contracted drivers through an iOS/Android app, and to be automatically charged through an existing credit card account.
- The company now covers 41 cities worldwide, some more comprehensively than others.