Times Internet deal drives Uber in India

Times Internet is making a "strategic investment" in cab hailing app Uber, and aligning forces with a startup to enter this lucrative market.
Times Internet deal drives Uber in India
Times Internet is entering into a strategic Rs 150 cr deal with US cab hailing company, Uber, to assist its India expansion move.  
Startups are stirring huge investments. The US company Uber has entered into a strategic Rs 150 cr deal with Times Internet for expansion in India.   
Times Internet is making a "strategic investment" in cab hailing app Uber, and aligning forces with a startup to enter this lucrative market. 
A statement from Times Internet quoted Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick as saying that "there is no better partner than Times Internet whose leadership shares our vision of a world that brings people and their cities closer together with reliable transportation, everywhere and for everyone".
Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet, said that the partnership will "help bring affordable, convenient, and safe transportation to every consumer in India while developing a real spirit of micro-entrepreneurialism for thousands of drivers".
The deal is a strategy to assist technology companies looking to achieve success in India. Uber thus will be able to leverage the reach of assets owned by the Times Group, across print, television as well as 150 million monthly active users on digital, said the people cited, who were describing the thinking behind the transaction. 
As reported in ET, Times Internet described the alliance as a "strategic investment and cooperation partnership to support Uber's expansion in India." 
Uber has entered into similar partnerships with local partners in many markets in the past. These include Baidu in China, AmericaMovil in Latin America and American Express in the US.
Such partners bring understanding of the market and consumer behaviour besides marketing and distribution reach.
Uber Technologies, the San Francisco-based company is estimated to be valued at $40 billion (Rs 2.5 lakh crore).
The partnership will give Uber a local ally and aid in its expansion move. Till now, it has expanded into 11 cities. The company ran into trouble after a driver on its network allegedly raped a woman passenger in Delhi.
Uber is likely to face regulatory hurdles like other taxi aggregators since licensing rules in the states are not in tune with the type of service the cab-hailing apps provide.
The Uber-Times Internet alliance deal is intended to give a stiff competition to Ola, which claims 80 per cent of the market share in India. Last month, Ola bought out India's then second-largest cab aggregator TaxiForSure for about $200 million and is in talks to raise about $400 million in a round led by DST Global. Separately, Meru raised $50 million in fresh funding from IVFA and is in talks to raise another $100 million.
"The market is characterised by low entry barriers as far as app development goes it is the network of consumers and drivers that'll create a unique competitive advantage for the players," said Sunil Wattal, who teaches management information systems at Temple University in the US.
On a global level, Uber has till now raised more than $2.7 billion from mutual fund managers Fidelity Investments and Wellington Management, venture capital firms Benchmark, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Menlo Ventures; and private equity firm TPG Growth.
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