Microsoft: What Software Company Has to Gain From Reported Uber Investment

Uber reportedly received a surprising investment that heats up the competition.

ByABC News
August 3, 2015, 12:52 PM
An Uber representative registers people on a smartphone, July 21, 2015, in New york City.
An Uber representative registers people on a smartphone, July 21, 2015, in New york City.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

— -- Uber has ballooned into a $50 billion transportation juggernaut just five years after its launch -- and now Microsoft is said to want a piece of the action.

The software company reportedly invested $100 million as part of a massive $1 billion fundraising round Uber recently completed, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

While the investment has been interpreted as a way for Microsoft to perhaps one day have a stake in self-driving car technology, there are more immediate benefits, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told ABC News.

"Microsoft’s investment in Uber is important on a few fronts. First is that it gives Microsoft an inside look at one of the most interesting trends, 'humans as a service'" Moorhead said.

"Whether its Home Advisor in home improvement or Favor in restaurant, HaaS is hot."

Moorhead also believes there's a role for Microsoft's Azure cloud service to play in powering Uber.

"Microsoft needs better entrepreneurial proof points for its Azure cloud services as typically Amazon gets tapped for startups," he said.

It's not the first time both Microsoft and Uber have done business together. Last month, Uber acquired part of Microsoft's Bing mapping unit and absorbed approximately 100 employees.Cortana, Microsoft's virtual personal assistant also has Uber integration, allowing the voice controlled sidekick to request an Uber just in time for users to get to a scheduled appointment.

"We filed to authorize this new funding more than two months ago," an Uber representative told ABC News. "The filing is available to the public. We aren’t commenting on additional speculation."