NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Ride-sharing company Uber just raised another $1.2 billion in funding, giving it a $40 billion valuation, the largest for a private company behind Facebook's (FB) private market value valuation, as the company continues to explode in popularity.
The latest funding round comes just six months after the company raised $1.2 billion as well, valuing the company at $17 billion. Facebook ultimately went public at a $104 billion valuation in May 2012, so Uber still has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook, though some believe it will get to the magical nine figure valuation mark sometime next year.
Reports have surfaced that San Francisco-based Uber will generate $10 billion in gross revenue in 2015, a near three-fold from the projected revenue for 2014. Uber keeps 20% of that, so 2015 revenue is expected to be roughly $2 billion. In comparison, Facebook generated $3.2 billion in the company's third-quarter, so while the companies are far apart in actual revenue generated, Uber's growth rate implies it's likely to catch up to Facebook in the not too distant future.
Uber, Airbnb and others play a part in what's known as the "sharing economy," something that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (TWTR) have helped facilitate over the years. With Facebook's user count having surpassed 1.3 billion in the third quarter and Twitter's having surpassed 250 million, that's a cumulative sum of 1.5 billion, or more than 15% of the world's total population sharing ideas, photos, happenings and memories across the Internet with each other.
The sharing economy is exemplified perhaps best by a recent Morgan Stanley note, detailing the trip its auto analysts took to Detroit to see the larger automotive companies. Instead of talking about the findings at the "Big 3" auto companies, the highlight of the trip were their experiences with Uber. "The highlight of our trip, however, was the 3 Uber trips we took between meetings," analyst Adam Jonas and his team wrote in the note. "The phenomenon of shared mobility has profound implications that extend far beyond the auto industry."
Here's the full details of the funding from the company's blog:
2014 has been a year of tremendous growth for Uber. It was just a year ago that Uber was operating in 60 cities and 21 countries - today we are in over 250 cities in 50 countries. We are 6 times bigger today than 12 months ago - and grew faster this year than last. This progress is remarkable, but it is in the coming years that Uber truly scales and the impact in cities becomes visible.
In 2015 alone, Uber will generate over 1mm jobs in cities around the world and with that millions of people may decide that they no longer need to own a car because using Uber will be cheaper than owning one. Parking could become less strained in our biggest cities, and city congestion may actually start to ease due to uberPOOL's expansion and success.
This kind of continued growth requires investment. To that end, we have just raised a financing round of $1.2 billion, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains. The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change. Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps. We are collaborating across the company and seeking counsel from those who have gone through similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.
Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.
We have an interesting journey ahead and I'd like to thank all of the riders, drivers and Uber employees who have made it possible to get this far. I'm inspired and energized every day by the work we do, the people in our community we serve and the impact we can have in bringing positive change to cities around the world.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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