March 23, 2015 / 5:43 AM / in 3 years

Uber ties up with Times Internet for India expansion

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc, the online ride-hailing company, has entered into a “strategic partnership” with India’s Times Internet, as it looks to expand operations in its largest market outside the United States.

An Uber spokeswoman said Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times of India media group, would invest “well under” one billion rupees ($16 million) in Uber, that is worth an estimated $40 billion.

“The deal is centered around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment,” Uber said in a statement on Monday.

Under the agreement, Times Internet will work on promotions to increase awareness about Uber and also help the U.S.-based taxi company localize its services for India.

“India is one of our fastest growing markets ... where we are investing heavily in continued growth,” Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick said in the statement.

The deal comes at a time when Uber is battling regulatory ambiguity over how it will continue to operate in India’s capital city, where it was banned following criticism over screening of its drivers after one of them was accused of rape in December.

Uber, however, resumed operations in the city after applying for a radio taxi license in January. Its application is still under review. Uber currently offers services in 11 Indian cities including New Delhi.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sunil Nair

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