Uber Could Use Sovereign Wealth Fund Money

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies, the driver-for-hire car service, could use some sovereign wealth money to fuel growth, payback earlier investors and participate in tighter regulatory car service markets. In addition, one reason why a sovereign wealth fund may be a better investor for Uber than a venture capital firm is that SWF capital is long-term and patient (not true in all cases). Generally, a sovereign investor would have less financial demands than a typical VC firm would – enabling management with more autonomy. Sovereign fund money could also assist Uber in opening up regulatory hurdles faster in countries like China, Singapore, Italy or the United Arab Emirates. With regard to China, Uber has already carefully launched in Shenzhen, one of China’s technology hubs.

After private equity money, is sovereign wealth money the next step?

Uber is increasingly being used across major U.S. cities as an alternative to yellow cabs and taxis. Through leaked reports, Uber’s revenues are growing fast; however, competition is mounting with companies like their rival Lyft and other challengers like Gett and Hailo. By receiving a large injection of SWF capital, Uber would be able to grow their network and proliferate in more cities.

Already UBER has moved from venture capital and angel money to corporate VC and private equity capital. During initial financing rounds, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick raised capital from Goldman Sachs, Menlo Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, Lowercase Capital and other investors. Investor money was used for replicating their go-to-market strategy across new cities. In August 2013, it was reported that Uber raised US$ 361.2 million in new funding in which the capital mostly came from Google Ventures and TPG. This values the company at around US$ 3.5 billion. David Bonderman, founding TPG partner, joined Uber’s board. After private equity money, is sovereign wealth money the next step?

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