VCs say Uber is worth $41bn... but don't worry, we're not in a bubble

Car service valued higher than two years of space exploration

Scrooge McDuck

Uber has snapped up a new round of funding that values the company at a staggering US$41bn.

The company said that it had generated $1.2bn in a private equity round of fundraising which reportedly valued the firm at $41bn.

The massive valuation would put Uber among some of the largest names in Silicon Valley, companies such as Yahoo! ($47.71bn) and Salesforce ($37.22bn). Though in fairness those numbers are market capitalisation data dervied from actual share prices and not the rather more rubbery market valuation Uber was given.

Still, the figure is rather staggering for a company that was founded less than six years ago and has only recently expanded into international markets.

Compare that to Jaguar Land Rover parent company Tata Motors, valued at $26.21bn. The mobile phone app you use to hire a car is now considered more valuable than the company that makes the luxury car you will be picked up and driven in.

US food giants General Mills ($32bn) and Kraft ($34.5bn) are also valued at less than Uber, despite producing (and selling) millions of pounds of actual, vital goods every year.

With the $41bn investors believe Uber is worth, one could fund NASA for the next two years ($35.1bn budget) or purchase the New York Times ($1.94bn) 20 times over. You could also build 49 copies of London's 2012 Olympic Stadium ($812m) or replicate the $1.5bn Burj Khalifa tower 27 times. If you're feeling really generous, that sort of dough would cover the budgets of 4.5 Large Hadron Colliders.

This for a company who still has a hard time keeping drivers from fighting with their customers and executives from embedding their own feet in their mouths.

CEO Travis Kalanick noted that the company still has plenty of room to improve, even with its eye-watering investor price tag.

"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," he said in a blog post.

"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."

If that doesn't work, Uber could always consider a move to air travel. After all, the company is worth around 111 brand new Boeing 747s. ®

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