Uber looks to banks to help towards Here Maps aquisition

Uber is reportedly looking for an extra $1 billion (£630 million) in credit line from banks, going towards the $3.4 billion (£2.19 billion) acquisition of Nokia’s Here Maps.

The private taxi service is reportedly in talks with six to seven banks on terms of the deal, which could bring in even more than £630 million, if Uber finds favourable terms.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the matter said the money is not going towards an IPO, claiming this is being pushed to next year at the earliest.

Uber and Baidu are reportedly co-oping in the bid for Here Maps, which it will use in unison. Baidu already uses Here Maps for Baidu Maps outside of Mainland China, meaning it will be able to cut the licensing charge it currently pays Nokia.

On Uber’s side, it would push the taxi service away from Google Maps. Rumours of Google building its own taxi service and Uber building its own self-driving cars has soured the relationship between the two companies, despite Google Ventures actively investing in Uber in 2013 and 2014.

It is unclear how much Uber pays in licensing to Google for the mapping services, but if it wants to become the premier taxi service worldwide, it will need to offer its own solution for full control over the system.

Having Here Maps on Uber’s side would allow deeper customisation, potentially allowing things like users creating their own routes for drivers to follow.

Uber’s valuation is somewhere between $40-55 billion (£25-35 billion), although the exact valuation has not been dug up. Reports say it has been shooting for the $50 billion (£32 billion) valuation in recent funding rounds.