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Uber Drives Mobile App Bubble With $1.2B VC Round

Dan Jones

The fast-growing ride-sharing company Uber revealed that it has pulled in a whopping financing round of more than $1 billion -- further proof of the venture capital cachet of mobile driver and automotive apps at present.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick revealed in a blog post that the company "just closed a financing round with some of the leading investors in the world, raising $1.2B of primary capital at a $17B pre-money valuation." Uber could bring in some "strategic investors" to close the round at $1.4 billion.

Uber has now raised around $1.5 billion in funding. The company was founded in March 2009. (See Mobile Services Are Next Uber Trend and Baby, You Can Fund My Car: Uber Drives August VC.)

Kalanick wrote that Uber is "changing the fabric" of the 128 cities -- in 37 coutries worldwide -- where it operates. "At our current rate, Uber is responsible for directly creating 20,000 new jobs per month, and powering billions in economic impact in cities around the world -- while also improving the environment, reducing DUI rates and fueling urban economic development."

It is possible that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) could be one of the forthcoming strategic investors in Uber. The carrier recently signed a service and apps deal with the startup. (See Uber Thumbs a Wireless Ride With AT&T.)

And Uber isn't the only ride-sharing app startup pulling in fat valuations. Lyft scored a $250 million round in April. (See Lyft Drives Mobile VC Funding to $1.4B in April.)

For the time being, these startups are helping to drive a new mobile app bubble. (See Mobile Bubble, Mo' Trouble and Finding the Buzz in the Mobile Bubble.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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