Despite a recent streak of catastrophic PR, Uber Inc. and its blazing growth profile retain their allure to investors.
The car-hailing app maker may be ready to tap Chinese web services company Baidu Inc. for major backing, Reuters reported, just weeks after raising $1.2 billion from unnamed investors early in December.
A day earlier, Fortune magazine suggested that even tech-averse Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) should consider deploying some of its $60 billion in cash to purchase a controlling stake of Uber, which is reportedly valued at $40 billion.
Uber has international ambitions. The company operates in 250 cities in 50 countries, and CEO Travis Kalanick said in a blog post the company would use the latest funds to expand in Asia.
Some localities have pushed back against Uber. Indian capital New Delhi blocked the service over licensing violations, and Uber had already drawn fire for its screening policies because of an alleged rape by a driver in the city.
District attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties have reportedly filed a consumer protection suit. There have been challenges to the service from Madrid to Thailand.
Uber compounded the bad press when a senior executive suggested launching smear campaign against a journalist critical of the company, which backer Ashton Kutcher endorsed in a tweet.
CEO Kalanick said in a December blog post would invest in "internal growth and change" and would seek to be "smarter and more humble" as it deploys its model globally.