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On-demand car service Uber is looking to raise another big round of funding, this time led by private equity firm Texas Pacific Group we’re hearing. And so is Dan Primack. And Liz Gannes. The round is expected to be between $150 million and $200 million, at a valuation of about $3.5 billion. The round hasn’t closed yet, but it’s close to being completed, or so our sources say.
The funding comes as Uber is growing fast, expanding into new territories and adding lower cost services. AllThingsD reports that the company is expected to pull in $125 million in revenue this year, which is higher than had been expected.
Uber is now available in more than 35 cities around the world with its on-demand black car service. But it’s quickly adding lower-cost options in many of those markets. In several cities, that means lower-cost hybrid cars taking passengers, while in others, the company is partnering with local taxi companies to use its e-hail service. With the funding, it will likely expand even more quickly.
TPG isn’t your typical tech investor, although it has held stakes in companies like SurveyMonkey and Travelocity parent company Sabre Holdings. But it has done a fair amount of investing in travel and leisure companies, including a number of airlines and hospitality businesses.
On that front, Uber seems like a good fit, as it’s not your typical tech investment. The company is looking to disrupt the urban transportation industry, which has been stifled by decades of regulation. But it’s also built a logistical framework that could be used for any number of things: in the past it’s experimented with barbecue and ice cream delivery, and it’s even been used to order canal boats in Amsterdam and water taxis in Sydney.
Google Ventures is also expected to be an investor in the round, according to Gannes and Primack, though we hadn’t heard about that.
Uber has raised $57 million since being founded in 2009. Its most recent funding round was for $37 million in late 2011, and came from investors that included Menlo Ventures, Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs, Benchmark, CrunchFund*, and Troy Carter. Other investors include Benchmark Capital, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Founder Collective, and a whole bunch of angels.
Uber, TPG, and Google Ventures all declined to comment for this story.
* DISCLOSURE: Some time ago, Michael Arrington founded TechCrunch. Later, he founded CrunchFund. And at some point after that, CrunchFund wrote a check to invest in Uber. But that all has nothing to do with why I’m writing this story about someone else possibly writing a check to invest in Uber.