The next round of funding that Uber receives could drive the startup into rarefied status.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the transportation app company is in talks to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in funding. The sources who spoke to the WSJ under condition of anonymity expect that, should such an investment take place, Uber’s overall valuation would rise to $50 billion or more.
While — as the anonymous sources attested — the prospective funding is not a sure thing, The New York Times points out that for Uber to reach that valuation threshold would make it the only Silicon Valley startup other than Facebook to do so.
The startup, famously disruptive in the taxi and transportation industries, surpassed a $40 billion valuation in December thanks to an investment round of $1.2 billion. Even by reaching that level, Uber put a great deal of space between itself and other top-flight Silicon Valley startups — nearly tripling, for example, the worth of data analysis firm Palantir, says The Times.
A $50 billion valuation, The Times notes, would make Uber the most valuable private startup in the world, putting it ahead of Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi (which was most recently valued at $45 billion). In the realm of publicly traded companies, the valuation would also put Uber above FedEx (whose market value currently stands at $48 billion) and Nissan (which is at $47 billion).
Since it was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick (currently the company’s CEO), Uber has raised more than $4 billion. The Times adds that funds from the investment reportedly being discussed would be put toward strategic partnerships, rather than expansion.