Uber Technologies Inc.’s whopping valuation of $18.2 billion is a bet by some of the world’s top investors that the car-hailing smartphone app can grow by expanding world-wide and branching into new arenas, like logistics.

It still falls a little shy of Jan Koum’s impressive $19.2 billion valuation, but Uber still has a long path before it.

The five-year-old company said on Friday that it has raised $1.2 billion from a consortium of investors led by mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments.

The big infusion, following weeks of competitive bidding among investors, highlights some investors’ belief that Uber is among a group of mobile apps disrupting traditional industries. In just four years, the service has become part of daily life for users in more than 130 cities and generated enough demand to turn a profit in several of its top markets.

“It’s probably the fastest international expansion that I’ve ever seen from a venture-backed company,”

Bill Gurley, a venture capitalist at Benchmark, which invested in Uber in 2011. Mr. Gurley said Benchmark remains Uber’s largest institutional shareholder.

Check out more members of the Billion Dollar App Club

Investors see much potential in some of these companies. At $18.2 billion, Uber is worth about the same as Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc. combined.

Airbnb Inc., a business similar to a home-rental version of Uber, raised $450 million in April at a $10 billion valuation, greater than that of Hyatt Hotels Corp.



Uber’s valuation has more than quadrupled in the past year. Only Facebook Inc. in 2011 raised capital at a higher valuation from private investors—an investment from Goldman Sachs valued the social network at $50 billion—according to VentureSource data.

The latest funding round was led by three mutual-fund managers: Fidelity, which invested about $425 million; Wellington Management, $209 million; and BlackRock Inc., $175 million. Four venture-capital firms also participated, according to a person familiar with the matter: Summit Partners; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Google Ventures, and Menlo Ventures.

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