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Uber snags a massive $3.5 billion investment from Saudi Arabia

Engadget Engadget 2/06/2016 Richard Lawler
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As a part of its latest round of funding, Uber has received what the Financial Times says is the "largest single investment ever made in a public company." That investment is a $3.5 billion chunk laid down by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, at Uber's current valuation of $62.5 billion. Uber has operated in the country since 2014, and in a statement the managing director of the Public Investment Fund, Yasir Al Rumayyan, noted how this is a part of the country's Vision 2030 plan to reduce dependence on oil-related industries.

Rumayyan will be taking a seat on Uber's board as a part of the deal, but Uber doesn't have any specific expansion plan there right now. Also notable is the fact that women are prohibited from driving in Saudi Arabia, and Uber says they make up 80 percent of its riders there -- interesting light of of CEO Travis Kalanick's statement that "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."

New York Times, Reuters

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