Why Tata Is Tapping $100M Into Uber

Tata, the huge conglomerate based in India, has entered a strategic partnership with Uber and is investing as much as $100 million in the ride-sharing app company, which is based in the United States.

The partnership was announced Wednesday (Aug. 19), and as reported by the Financial Times, the deal follows Uber’s push into India, with an estimated $1 billion committed in terms of investing in the company. India is one of the largest markets Uber has targeted for global growth, with a twin pillar of that expansion strategy tied to China.

Uber already operates in 18 cities across India, and in terms of the number of cities the company operates in, India stands as its largest market outside the United States.

FT said that the first investment in Uber Technologies, which owns and operates the app, will be made by the Tata Opportunities Fund, which is a $600 million private equity firm that is in turn run by Tata Capital. Though the accrual size of the investment was not disclosed, FT cited one unnamed “person familiar” with the investment, noting the $100 million price tag. That investment underscores not only the Uber growth strategy, according to FT, but an attempt to help “justify” the $50 billion valuation that is enjoyed by the privately held technology enterprise.

In terms of competition, the partnership with Tata remains a direct push up against Ola, which is the largest ride-sharing company in India. FT said that Uber has 150,000 drivers in the country, trailing behind Ola’s roster of 200,000 drivers. The latter company says it could have as many as 1 million drivers by 2017.

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