Transportation Tech War of the World: Uber Gets Another $2.1 Billion and Lyft Partners Up to Take Over Southeast Asia and India

Uber is still the biggest player in the space but Lyft is hustling hard.

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By Catherine Clifford


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Make no mistake, the transportation technology space is nothing short of an all-out war right now. Uber and Lyft are giving it all they've got, and investors are pushing more and more chips to the middle of the table.

Uber is seeking yet another massive infusion of cash. The San Francisco transportation technology company is raising another $2.1 billion at an utterly mind-boggling, eye-popping $62.5 billion, according to news reports. The most recent funding raise comes on top of more than $8 billion the company has already raised since its 2009 launch.

Uber declined to comment on the reports of the newest funding round.

Related: In the War to Win Drivers, Lyft Sweetens Its Sell With a Few Clutch Offerings

Meanwhile, Lyft has been reportedly seeking to raise its own $500 million round of funding based on a $4 billion valuation. And leaked financial documents have shown that the smaller San Francisco-based rideshare company has been spending very aggressively to stay in the game.

Lyft declined to comment on either the reports of the most recent $500 million raise or the leaked financial documents showing big spending and modest results. It did, however, point out that it has recently announced that it is operating at a $1 billion gross annual run rate.

Part of the race for cash is that both Uber and Lyft want to be global players.

Uber is currently available in 67 countries around the world, and in a letter CEO Travis Kalanick wrote to investors earlier this year, he said that it is aggressively pursuing expansion in China. "To put it frankly, China represents one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber, potentially larger than the US," Kalanick says.

Related: There Will Be 20 Million Self-Driving Cars On the Road by 2025

And Lyft, though smaller and less well funded than Uber, is doing what it can to keep up with the juggernaut that is Uber on a global scale.

Just yesterday, Lyft announced new partnerships with Ola and GrabTaxi to grow its footprint in Asia. That builds upon the strategic partnership that Lyft announced with the Chinese ridesharing giant Didi Kuaidi last August. As part of the partnership, riders will be able to hail rides with Ola, GrabTaxi, Lyft and Didi Kuaidi drivers through whichever application the driver uses at home, according to a statement from Lyft announcing the partnership.

The Uber and Lyft venture capital-fueled battle is one of the most captivating Silicon Valley rivalries going. And the more money investors put down, the higher and higher the stakes get.

Related: Why Uber's Latest Move Could Be Good News for Your Business

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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