This article came to my attention today despite being a year old:
The Inside Story of How Uber Got Into Business With the Saudi Arabian Government
November 3, 2018, 9:00 AM EDT Corrected November 3, 2018, 3:52 PM EDT
The Saudi Arabian government was set to give the San Francisco-based startup $3.5 billion, an astronomical amount. The company’s legal team had to double-check that it was even possible to send that much money in a single wire transfer. But on June 1, 2016, the Saudi Public Investment Fund sent Uber Technologies Inc. the cash in one lump sum. It was the largest single investment from a foreign government to a venture-backed startup ever—and still is.
The sprawling consequences of that mega-deal have yet to fully unfold. Two years ago, the money helped Uber settle its war with Didi Chuxing in China, fortified its position against rival Lyft Inc. and empowered then Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick ahead of a long, pitched battle with investors who ultimately pushed him out. Now, the deal is drawing Uber into a global reckoning over the business world's relationship with Saudi Arabia.
As I speculated earlier on this site, Uber isn't being propped up by those looking to make money; it is being funded by enemies of transit, walking, bikes, good urbanism etc. in order to damage them and keep the world dependent on fossil fuels.
Here is an article written today:
Khosrowshahi was asked about Khashoggi to begin with because Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund is Uber’s fifth-largest investor, having provided $3.5 billion to the rideshare company, not including whatever money the Saudis indirectly put into Uber through major investor Softbank’s Vision Fund. Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund, sits on Uber’s board. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the fund’s chairman....
Uber’s existence entirely relies on investors like Saudi Arabia to keep pumping money into its coffers because Uber does not and has never made a profit. It is, in the strictest sense of what we think business are, not a good one. So it relies on investors who are interested in things other than making money to keep it afloat.