The taxi service app Uber has attracted a $3.5bn
(£2.43bn) investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public
The money will help it to expand in the Middle East, where
the company says 80% of its users in Saudi Arabia are
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
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
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-