Tata Opportunities Fund (TOF) on Wednesday (19) announced “significant investment” in the India arm of controversial app-based taxi firm Uber, with a source describing the investment pact as worth between $75-$100 million (£48m-£64m).
“TOF will make a significant investment in Uber, the first such investment made by TOF in a global company with headquarters outside India and underscores the confidence in Uber,” a press note issued by TOF said.
A statement from Uber also confirmed the pact, without giving an exact figure for the TOF investment.
“The TOF will be investing between $75-$100 million to aid Uber’s already rapid expansion in India,” a source close to the deal said.
“Uber has grown at such an astonishing rate and continues to lead the way in the Internet economy. We look forward to working with the team on innovative new opportunities,” Padmanabh Sinha, managing partner of TOF’s advisory team in India, said in the statement.
Uber has endured a bumpy ride since it started operating in India two years ago, with a rape allegation against one of its drivers leading the New Delhi government to ban it.
It was ordered off Delhi’s roads amid accusations it was failing to conduct adequate background checks, but it resumed operations in January.
Despite the challenges, India now counts as Uber’s second biggest market after the United States and the company claims around 35 per cent of Indian market share with 150,000 “driver entrepreneurs”.
It currently operates in 18 cities across India, including the capital.
Uber India president, Amit Jain, in a statement last month said that the company was recording growth of 40 per cent month-on-month and planned to invest “additional $1 billion” in India in the next nine months.
Uber, which connects passengers to drivers through a smart-phone app, has expanded rapidly worldwide in recent years despite facing hurdles from regulators in many countries and protests from traditional taxi services.