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Investors: Damn Ubergate and Full Speed Ahead With Mega-Funding

Did last week's online outrage hinder the ongoing Uber funding round? Apparently not.

Shutterstock/Stephen Coburn

Did last week’s online outrage hinder the ongoing Uber mega-funding round? Apparently not.

Investors still seem to be bullish on the ride-sharing company, despite the recent outcry about its trustworthiness and ethics, said multiple sources who have talked with the company during its ongoing pitches to raise a yet another enormous round of investment.

This is for one big reason: Uber is telling potential investors that it expects a gross revenue run rate of more than $4 billion for 2014. The gross run rate is on track to more than double in 2015, to some $10 billion, added those who have heard the pitch.

Uber itself keeps about 20 percent of that gross revenue, the total amount that it bills to customers, giving it about $1 billion or more in net revenue once costs are taken out.

As such, the discussed valuation for the latest round is apparently now at $30 billion, several sources said. We’d previously reported $25 billion, although even higher numbers had already been publicly floated.

This frenzy to invest in Uber comes after a very bad PR week for the startup. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported on top executive Emil Michael discussing an idea to smear critical journalists, particularly PandoDaily head Sarah Lacy. Since then — despite an escalating pile of think pieces, continuing fallout over privacy practices and #deleteuber tweets — Michael has kept his job, and Uber has kept its course.

Whether the controversy will impact sales immediately is unclear. Some inside the company told Re/code they are concerned, but others do not think Michael’s mistake will have lasting impact.

Business Insider had a couple different Uber revenue stories this week, including one that mentioned the $10 billion run rate by the end of next year. The site also published some details about last year’s revenue. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said publicly in June that the company’s revenue had been doubling every six months.

Uber declined to comment on this story.

Additional reporting by Kara Swisher.

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