Uber Technologies Inc. is creating a new category of hot startup: the $17 billion club.
The San Francisco-based transportation service, which lets people order private town cars and other vehicles from their smartphone, has raised $1.2 billion in a new financing led by Fidelity Investments.
The funding positions the company at the front of a pack of Internet startups, at a pre-money valuation of about $17 billion, up from $3.5 billion in a financing last year.
Other investors in the new round include Wellington Management, Summit Partners, BlackRock Inc., venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and existing investors such as Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures.
Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick said he was keeping the round open to strategic partners that might pitch in an additional $200 million, though he declined to name possible partners.
"This is about capitalizing for the opportunities that we see ahead of ourselves," said Kalanick, who in the last four years has steered Uber into 128 cities in 37 countries worldwide. "If you can make it economical for people to get out of their cars or sell their cars, and turn transportation into a service, it´s a pretty big deal."