BIG INVESTMENT: Uber is in line to receive an investment of $3.5-billion from Saudi Arabia. Image: iStock
San Francisco - Uber said Wednesday it is getting a massive cash infusion from Saudi Arabia.
The oil-rich nation's sovereign investment fund is putting $3.5-billion into the global transportation company, and will get a seat on Uber's board of directors.
Funding for new tech companies has been slowing down in recent months amid concerns that many startups have been over-valued. But San Francisco-based Uber has been able to raise billions of dollars as it pursues ambitious plans to expand around the world.
Large sums of investments
Uber says its internet-based ride-hailing service now operates in nine countries of the Middle East, one of its fastest-growing markets. 80% of its passengers in Saudi Arabia are women. The country doesn't allow women to drive.
The Saudi money is part of a larger round of funding by several investors, which valued Uber at $62.5-billion. The company, which has raised well over $14-billion since its founding in 2009, says it now has more than $11-billion in cash and available credit to fund its expansion.
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Uber's regional rivals have also reported big investments this year, as on-demand ride services have grown in popularity. Apple recently invested $1-billion in China's Didi Chuxing, while General Motors has put $500-million into US-based Lyft.