In what is being called the largest single cash investment ever made into a private company, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested $3.5 billion for 5% of the on-demand car service Uber.
The investment is the first of likely many more investments into technology as Saudi Arabia looks to act on its ‘Vision 2030’ strategy to diversify its income sources away from oil.
“This ambitious and far-reaching plan presents a number of goals, including unlocking strategic sectors such as tourism and entertainment, boosting employment opportunities and women’s participation in the workforce, and encouraging entrepreneurship,” PIF’s Yasir Al Ruymayyan said in a statement according to TechCrunch.
The deal stipulates that Al Ruymayyan will also serve on the board of Uber.
Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick said in a statement that he appreciates “the vote of confidence in our business as we continue to expand our global presence. Our experience in Saudi Arabia is a great example of how Uber can benefit riders, drivers, and cities and we look forward to partnering to support their economic and social reforms.”
In total Uber has raised about $10.7bn from outside investors, excluding a $2.3bn convertible debt facility, according to the Financial Times.