Uber eying $50 billion valuation in new funding round

Uber could soon be among one of the most valuable venture-backed startups in history following a fresh fundraising round that may increase its worth up to nearly $50 billion.

If Uber successfully concludes the fresh funding round, it would become one of the most valuable venture-backed startups in history. This would put Uber on a par with Facebook, which was valued at $50 billion before its IPO.

The valuation hike has come just six months after the controversial taxi-hailing app notched up a $40 billion valuation after it took in another $1.2 billion from investors for funding its overseas expansion. According to reports now, it is looking at raising a further $1.5 billion.

It was reported that the start-up is hoping to use the cash to finance strategic moves, including partnerships.

After receiving the cash injection, Uber would exceed Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which is valued at $45 billion, and would become world's most valuable privately-owned startup.

According to the New York Times it would also top the market cap of public firms FedEx and Nissan.

Uber was founded in 2008 by Stumbleupon creator Garrett Camp and Red Swoosh's Travis Kalanick. The company has seen rapid growth because of its cheap rates and a user-friendly smart phone service.

Along the way, the company has raised around $4 billion that has allowed it to operate in over 200 cities across the world and its cars to outnumber yellow taxis in New York.

However, it is facing a rising pile of regulatory problems, including police investigations into its activities in China and France, and questions over its safety after one of its drivers was accused of rape in India.

Furthermore, traditional taxi services such as London's black cabbies, have protested against the app by claiming that its drivers do not have to comply with the same strict rules they do.