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Uber aims to be uber-funded by expanding funding round by $1B

The second highest valued venture backed company in the world is looking to get even richer by expanding a round of funding from $1.8 billion to $2.8 billion.

Ride-hailing service Uber could get even richer with more investor funding. Uber

Ride-hailing service Uber has experienced ups and downs with public perception, but none of that has seemed to sway investors' enthusiasm for the service.

Already flush with $4.9 billion in funding, including debt financing, the company is now expanding its latest round of possible funding from $1.8 billion to $2.8 billion, according to a Wednesday filing with the Delaware Secretary of State. This means investors will now be able to invest millions more in Uber.

Over the past year, Uber has raised several hefty rounds of financing. The service, which lets drivers connect with passengers via a smartphone app, is now the second highest valued venture backed company in the world with a valuation of $41.2 billion.

Venture capitalists' recent investments in Uber "underscore the confidence investors have in Uber's growth," an Uber spokeswoman said. She said additional funding will be geared toward its car-pool feature, which is dubbed UberPool, and launching its service in more cities around the world. The company is currently in more than 260 cities in 54 countries.

Uber is under pressure to introduce new services, such as UberPool, and to do so while continuing its international expansion. "These are all expensive options and Uber can use all the cash it can get," said Parks Associates analyst Tejas Mehta.

Investor interest in Uber comes despite waves of bad publicity over the past few months. Critics have said Uber unfairly competes with its rival Lyft. The company has also battled regulators in the US, Asia and several countries in Europe. Additionally, some of its drivers have allegedly attacked passengers, raising concerns about whether driver background checks are strict enough.

Despite those pressures, analysts say the continued investment from top venture capital firms -- like Baidu, New Enterprise Associates and Lone Pine Capital -- is a testament to its early success. In fact, the money poured in for Uber in 2014. Over the course of the year, the company raised more than $2.4 billion, including the most recent round of $1.2 billion in December. In January, Uber also received a round of $1.6 billion in convertible debt financing from wealth management clients at Goldman Sachs. The only company with a higher valuation than Uber is Chinese smartphone-maker Xiaomi, which has a valuation of $46 billion.

Uber is by far the giant in the ride-hailing app world, but its rival Lyft is looking to catch up. Last week, it was reported that Lyft is supposedly seeking $250 million in funding, which would value the company at roughly $2 billion.

Corrected at 10:50 p.m. PT to say Uber is expanding funding from $1.8 billion to $2.8 billion. The article previously stated the expansion was from $600 million to $1 billion.