Microsoft Investing $100 Million in Uber

The car-hailing app is getting major funding from Microsoft, bumping its valuation to $50 billion, according to reports.

Uber funding

Microsoft is betting big on Uber, the San Francisco-based technology company behind the popular transportation app.

In a deal finalized on July 31, Microsoft agreed to invest approximately $100 million in Uber Technologies, according to a Bloomberg report. The new infusion in cash bumps Uber's valuation to $50 billion, an increase of $10 billion.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. The Seattle Times reported that the authorization for the new funding was filed more than two months ago.

It's not the first deal between the two technology companies. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber was acquiring Microsoft's Bing mapping technology, and its 100 engineers, for an undisclosed amount.

In the months leading up to last week's Windows 10 launch, Microsoft announced that Cortana, the operating system's built-in virtual assistant, would help users flag down an Uber car.

"By integrating with Uber, Cortana will not only recommend an Uber for you at the exact time you need it based on your schedule, but will also order it for you," said Marcus Ash, a Microsoft program manager, in a statement. "For example, let's say you've purchased a movie ticket online and received an email confirmation. Cortana has this information and will display a reminder to you prior to the movie start time."

An Uber add-in for Microsoft Outlook, reviewed at the Build 2015 developer conference at the end of April, is also on the way.

"With the Uber add-in for Outlook, you can set an Uber ride reminder for any calendar event with a single tap. When it's time to leave for your next event, Uber will send you a notification," said Nathan Lam, head of product marketing for Uber's API and Developer Platform, in a blog post announcing the collaboration.

"Swipe on the notification to jump to the Uber app with the destination already set, and simply confirm your request. Whether you have an upcoming dinner reservation, doctor's appointment, or flight, Uber and Outlook will help get you there on time," continued Lam. Uber was the official ridesharing partner for Build 2015.

Meanwhile, Uber has emerged as one of the tech industry's top disruptors. And with its heightened profile, it is seeing some challengers.

Google is joining Lyft and other taxi alternatives with its own service. The search and online advertising giant is piloting a carpooling service called RideWith for office workers in Tel Aviv, Ra'anana and Herzliya, Israel. "Available only during standard rush hour times, RideWith helps connect drivers and potential riders—such as neighbors on similar commute routes or co-workers who live near each other," said the company in a July 6 announcement.

RideWith was developed by Waze, the company behind the social navigation and traffic app. Google acquired Waze for $1.3 billion in 2013. The new service piggybacks on Waze to find drivers on a desired route and alert them to potential rides. Riders pay a "modest" distance-based fee, while Google pockets 15 percent.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...