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Microsoft has reportedly agreed to invest $100m in San Francisco-based internet ride-sharing company Uber Technologies.
The deal was finalised on 31 July 2015, reports the Seattle Times, citing a source who asked not to be identified discussing a private deal.
Uber, which was valued at $40bn when it raised financing earlier in 2015, is expected to use Micosoft’s cash to expand operations worldwide.
The company is currently valued at close to $51bn after the latest round of funding, which includes the Microsoft investment, according to the Wall Street Journal.
News of the Microsoft investment comes a month after Microsoft sold a portion of its Bing mapping division to Uber.
Microsoft has also worked with Uber to enable Microsoft’s Cortana voice-controlled assistant to order an Uber taxi as a scheduled appointment on a user’s calendar approaches.
Uber has expanded to more than 300 cities in 57 countries in the five years since it was founded by chief executive Travis Kalanick and chairman Garret Camp.
In 2015 alone, Uber has added New York, Los Angeles, Austin and Chicago to the list of cities it serves.
Despite the company’s success, governments and taxi companies have challenged the legality of Uber on the grounds that its use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxis is unsafe and illegal.
In April 2014, Uber was banned by authorities in Berlin, although the company remains active in other German cities.
Taxi drivers in London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid also staged a large-scale protest against Uber on 11 June 2014. In December 2014, Uber passenger services were banned in Spain and two cities in India.
Since Uber’s launch, several other companies have copied its smartphone-based business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification” or “Uberization”.
Read more about Uber
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- Uber is shaking up the taxi business, but it isn’t the only mobile disruptor out there
- Founder and CEO of Platform Thinking Labs lays out the fundamentals of the platform business model used by Airbnb and Uber.