back to article Uber holds out hand, hails another $1bn – mostly from Microsoft

Unlicensed taxi service Uber has plumped up its war chest with another $1bn, with much of the latest funding round reportedly coming from Microsoft. Citing anonymous sources, The New York Times reports that Redmond contributed "a substantial amount" of the $1bn, which brings the car app firm's total valuation close to $51bn. …

  1. gnasher729 Silver badge

    $1bn investment for Uber coming from Microsoft - is this following Microsoft's tradition of throwing away billions of dollars? ($10bn for Nokia, about $6bn for an advertising company whose name I cannot remember, $6 to $8 bn for Skype etc.)?

    1. Lars Silver badge

      One can only hope.

    2. asdf


      As much as I hate Uber and the "sharing" economy (ie no benefits including even being called an employee for workers) this may actually be lucrative eventually. Remember the only real value add Yahoo has done in a very long time for their share holders was buying stakes in the right Chinese companies.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        @asdf Sharing?

        A customer who pays, a contractor how gets paid and an agency taking a percentage. Sounds like capitalism to me. Sharing would be funding the agency through donations and passengers getting a free ride from volunteer drivers.

        If registering with Uber were compulsory, would that be totalitarian or green?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: actually

        It is only lucrative if there are barriers to entry. Uber has been trying to knock down the barriers to entry into the "taxi" market all over the world. Where they succeed, they've delineated the exact boundaries in which they - and all other competitors - may operate.

        If Uber makes a lot of money as a middleman, there is plenty of room for competitors to set up shop and accept a smaller cut, with the savings used to pay drivers more and charge riders less. It will be a race to the bottom, and Uber won't be worth a tenth of what they are today, though I think eventually they'll just go under completely as they'll stubbornly refuse to lower their cut even as drivers and riders abandon them in great numbers.

        There may even be room for competition that takes ZERO cut, and relies on sponsorships to support the infrastructure. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are an obvious candidate there. The drivers would be the only ones making profit, which is fair as they're the ones doing the work.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      $1bn investment for Uber coming from Microsoft - is this following Microsoft's tradition of throwing away billions of dollars?

      No, it just confirms that they're evil, and thus fit into the MS portfolio. I'm surprised MS beat Google to it.

      1. Jonathan Miles

        Google already invested in Uber via Google Ventures. Uber is on the GV "portfolio" list and Google is listed in the "About Uber" part of their website.

  2. Mikel

    Shopping list

    Lilies for Uber.

    We know how Microsoft partnerships go.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going Googley

    I've sort of had the feeling that Uber was rising inexplicably fast and getting its way rather more often than seemed likely, just like Google.

    Microsoft seem to be going down the Google path with Windows 10. If what they plan for users comes off they'll know the users' car requirements before the users do.

    So I guess they'll go together quite profitably.

  4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Going rate for porting an app to Windows Phone?

    I thought Microsoft stopped paying for ports when they decided to cancel Windows Phone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft in the Taxi business now ? I knew things were going badly in the Windows division but didn't realise they were now having to moonlight as cabbies.

    Taxi for Nadella.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah, you are all wrong

      It's the only way Microsoft can get people to write Windows phone apps...

  6. Mystic Megabyte
    Black Helicopters

    For those that forget to disable winIO data-mining

    Scenario 1:

    A businessman gets a cab for a short trip. A screen lights up and with a list of all the dodgy web-sites he has visited. The price of the trip has increased by 1000% with an "Accept this price? Yes/No" button.

    Scenario 2:

    A politician gets a cab for a short trip. A screen lights up and with a list of all the dodgy web-sites he has visited and a man in dark glasses asks him if he'd like to change his vote on some trade deal. When he agrees he still gets whacked by a massive price hike!

    Disclaimer: This is all humour and is in no way related to any real companies.

    Sent from my iPood in spaaaaaace! (I'm a floating voter)

  7. x 7

    $1billion write off coming next year for Microsoft, enabling even more tax offsets.

    Uber is going to implode in a big way and all that money is going to vanish.....

  8. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Clouds... Rain... Hail... Delivery...

    If Azure goes down your important documents and emails will be delivered instead by Uber.

  9. PhilipN Silver badge

    Now I get it

    MS misread the memo and thought it was a tax shelter

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    If Uber is valued so highly does this mean they are showing a profit or have some tangible assets? Or is this another risky South Sea Bubble?

  11. enormous c word

    $51Bn !!!!!

    That is just plain crazy!

  12. Tim Almond

    Does this add up?

    Does this add up? How many cab fares do you have to sell to make a decent ROI on $41bn? At 5% that would be $2bn a year, and they only get 20%, so they have to sell $10bn in taxi fares, or say, 600 million trips, and that's after all the costs of running it. And assumes no competitors come along.

    How big is the global market?

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: Does this add up?

      The fare doesn't have to be the only revenue stream.

      I'm thinking there's money in the data about traffic, travel choices, dates, times, people habits, demographics etc.

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