Uber raises $1.2 billion in investment and puts valuation at eye-watering $17 billionNews / DistributionBy Kevin May | June 6, 2014Share This article was originally published on The founders of Uber will indeed be treating themselves this weekend after announcing a mammoth $1.2 billion investment round.The US-based, private car rental service has secured its latest injection of capital from round leader Fidelity Investments alongside Wellington Management, Summit Partners, BlackRock and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.Existing investors Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures also participated in a deal which Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says values the company at $18 billion.The company says a further $200 million will be announced shortly in a second tranche from other investors.Uber's earlier round was in the region of $360 million in August 2013.It now has operations in some 128 cities in 37 countries around the world, an extraordinary growth rate given the company was only formed in 2009.But with rapid expansion and a new take on an existing car rental/taxi hire model, like its fellow relative newbie Airbnb, have come a string of concerns from existing players as to its legality in various jurisdictions.Kalanick says: "With our growth and expansion, the company has evolved from being a scrappy Silicon Valley tech startup to being a way of life for millions of people in cities around the world. "This 'Uber' way of life is really a reflection of our mission to turn ground transportation into a seamless service and to enable a transportation alternative in cities that makes car ownership a thing of the past."Share this quote The company has faced protests from taxi drivers in cities such as Paris, France, over the course of the past year, but Kalanick claims Uber is creating 20,000 new jobs every month around the world.Kalanick ads: "Four years in, we are just at the beginning of the Uber story. We are working hard to improve what we do every day and are focused on making our great potential a reality. "We appreciate the confidence that investors, riders and partner drivers have shown in us and we intend to deliver."Share this quote To put Uber's valuation into context, long-standing car rental brand Hertz has a market capitalisation of $12.4 billion, Avis is in the region of $6.3 billion and Expedia close to $10 billion.