Ride-hailing service Uber to put $1 billion in India

Ride-hailing service Uber has announced a $1 billion investment for the Indian market for the next nine months as it hopes to expand services and products, news reports said Friday.

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The company will spend the money on developing new products and payment solutions, and other uses, Amit Jain, who was appointed in May as president of Uber India, said in an e-mailed statement.

Leaked communications from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick last month revealed that the company is handling one million rides per day in China, which is expected to surpass the U.S.as its busiest market before the end of the year.

Uber has grown swiftly in India since its launch in Bengaluru in 2013 and is now present in 18 cities.

Uber, an app-only service, said on Thursday that it is growing at a rate of 40% month-on-month in India.

“We are extremely bullish on the Indian market and see tremendous potential here”. It will support 2,00,000 more jobs.

Since launching in India in August 2013, Uber has slashed prices, introduced low-cost services and even accepted cash payments to adapt its lean business model to India and Indians.

The competition in the vehicle hailing market intensified after two former rivals merged to form Didi Kuaidi, which targeted annual revenue of US$12 billion this year, compared with Uber China’s target of US$1 billion.

App-based cab aggregators have been banned in Delhi since the alleged rape in December 2014 of a 26-year-old woman by a driver on the Uber network. Uber applied for license in New Delhi but kept operating while approvals were pending. An observation could be made that Uber, though seemingly ahead in the fundraising stakes, is stretched pretty thinly given that it operates in some 300 cities across the globe.

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The US-based company had signed an agreement with the Telangana government to set up a “state-of-the-art facility” to ramp up its India operations.

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