Uber and Tata Opportunities Fund (TOF), the flagship private equity fund advised by Tata Capital, have announced that TOF will make a significant investment in Uber. It is being touted as the first such investment made by TOF in a global company with headquarters outside India. The partnership is a milestone for both entities and will help Uber expand its services and solutions in India by leveraging TOF's network within the wider Tata Group, as well as externally.
Uber launched in India less than two years ago. Today, the service is available in 18 Indian cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Mysore, Nagpur, New Delhi, Pune, Surat and Visakhapatnam), more than in any other country outside United States. With its current base of over 150,000 driver entrepreneurs and continued robust 40 per cent month-on-month growth, the company claims to have gained over 35 per cent market share in India.
"Tata is synonymous with entrepreneurialism in India, and I am incredibly excited to have the Tata Opportunities Fund on board as a partner," comments Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber Technologies. "Our goal is simple: reliable and affordable transportation at the push of a button everywhere, for everyone. Right now, we're particularly focussed on building a great service for hundreds of millions of Indians, and Tata's leadership and experience will be crucial in helping us meet this important goal," he adds.
Uber's partnership with TOF follows other strategic relationships with Baidu in China, AmericaMovil in Latin America and American Express in US. Each of these partners bring a deep understanding of their countries and extensive networks that have helped increase the adoption of Uber's services in over 60 countries and 330 cities around the world.
TOF is a third party private equity fund with a mandate to invest into exclusive situations with market leading businesses which benefit from its relationship with the Tata Group. TOF completed the final close of its fund in early 2013 with commitments of ~USD 600 million from marquee global investors. Excluding this investment, the fund has, till date, committed about USD 400 million to six sector leaders: Ginger Hotels, Tata Sky, Varroc Engineering, Shriram Properties, Tata Projects and TVS Logistics.
Uber is a technology platform that is revolutionising the way people connect with their cities around the world. It is currently available in over 328 cities in 58 countries around the world. In India, it competes with companies like Meru, Easy and Ola Cabs.