Uber to invest $1 bn on India expansion
MUMBAI - Agence France-Presse
Reuters PhotoControversial app-based taxi-hailing firm Uber plans to invest $1 billion in India over the next nine months, the company's local head said in a statement emailed to AFP on July 31.
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.
But Uber India president Amit Jain said the company was recording growth of 40 percent month-on-month in its biggest market outside of the United States.
"We are extremely bullish on the Indian market and see tremendous potential here. This is why Uber is committing an additional $1 billion to India in the next nine months," he said.
"With this investment and the strong rate of growth we are seeing, we expect to hit over one million trips per day in the next six to nine months," Jain added.
He said India was a "global priority" for Uber and that services would be expanded into new cities as it bids with local startup Ola Cabs for a larger share of the country's booming taxi-hailing market.
Uber, which connects passengers to drivers through a smartphone app, has expanded rapidly worldwide in recent years despite facing hurdles from regulators in many countries and protests from traditional taxi services.
It currently operates in 18 cities across India, including the capital, despite having an application for a licence to provide services there rejected recently.
Uber was ordered off Delhi's roads after a rape allegation against one of its drivers in December amid accusations it was failing to conduct adequate background checks, but it resumed operations in January.