You'll notice there was no outcry from Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, this time. That's because the funding rumors are now true.
Uber began initial talks for a massive new funding round last Wednesday, a source tells us. We also received a non-denial from Kalanick who merely stated:
"I can not comment on any fundraising activities we may or may not be participating in."
Since its last fundraise in November 2011, which valued the real-time driver company at $330 million, the company has received hundreds of inbound messages from interested investors but until last week, many of them went unanswered. Now VCs are flying in from all over the country to meet with Kalanick.
What's attractive about Uber? For starters, it's disrupting the transportation industry to the point that it has changed laws in multiple cities and received Cease and Desists from others. It's the clear market leader for on-demand drivers. In addition, Uber is growing 18% month over month and it is profitable in all of its earliest cities (New York and San Francisco, to name a couple). The fact that Uber has a business model that's working and can be tweaked then replicated around the world is very attractive to investors.
It's unclear who will lead Uber's round of financing, but the source says it won't be a traditional VC firm. Instead, Uber is looking for a backer that's capable of writing a 9-figure check.
The source also says Uber's customer engagement and satisfaction levels (net promoter scores) are entering Apple's fan-boy realm.
Uber currently has 330 employees, up from 65 people one year ago. It has raised $57.1 million to date.
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- Travis Kalanick