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Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Uber attracts $3.5bn from Saudi Public Investment Fund
The taxi service app Uber has attracted a $3.5bn (£2.43bn) investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.
The money will help it to expand in the Middle East, where the company says 80% of its users in Saudi Arabia are women.
Women are banned from driving themselves in the country.
The new money values the company at $62.5bn and will see a managing director at the fund, Yasir al-Rumayyan, take a seat on Uber's board.
The investment from the Public Investment Fund, set up by the kingdom to develop the country and invest the revenues from its vast oil reserves, is part of Uber's most recent global money-raising round.
Uber will invest $250m in the Middle East, where it has been expanding aggressively.
So-called ride-hailing apps, whereby vetted private car owners offer lifts to paying passengers, are expanding at a rapid pace around the world, despite certain cities banning the services amid fears over the standards and licencing of the drivers.
They have attracted high sums from a range of investors.
Recently, carmakers Toyota and Volkswagen have struck separate partnerships with rideshare companies Uber and Gett, an Israel-based rideshare operator.
Uber's deal with Toyota followed Apple's $1bn investment in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.
In March, General Motors invested $500m in Lyft, a US rival to Uber, to help develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars.