Several investors have stepped up during the bidding process, offering valuations near or above $17 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
According to two of these people, representatives of Uber have indicated to potential investors that they would be well oversubscribed at valuations near $15 and $16 billion.
The escalation, however, has proven too rich for some parties. General Atlantic, for instance, passed after considering a deal at $14 billion.
The Journal reported last week that General Atlantic, BlackRock and Technology Crossover Ventures were among those interested in contributing to an investment totaling near or above $500 million, at a valuation north of $12 billion.
If Uber decides to raise at a higher valuation, it is also expected to accept more capital, possibly several hundred million dollars more than the roughly $500 million it was expected to raise, one of these people said.
There is no certainty yet, however, that the deal will close and at what valuation.
Uber, whose mobile app connects people with drivers for hire, was valued at $3.5 billion last summer. The latest round could catapult Uber past three of the most valuable tech startups: home-rental site Airbnb Inc., file-storage service Dropbox Inc. and Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Inc., which were all valued at $10 billion apiece by investors in the past year.