Uber self-driving division may receive $1B investment led by SoftBank

17 March, 2019, 01:31 | Author: Regina Silva
  • SoftBank Toyota Said to Be in Talks to Invest $1 Billion in Uber's Self Driving Unit

The former previously invested in Uber and in 2018 made a $2.25 billion investment in General Motors' self-driving vehicle division.

Uber is in talks to sell a stake in its self-driving technologies unit to SoftBank and other investors for as much as $1 billion, as the ride-hailing company prepares to go public, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, estimated to be around $1 billion, would value Uber's self-driving unit between $5 billion to $10 billion. Uber would maintain majority control of the self-driving arm and would use the investment to fund its research and development. The investment would reportedly be specifically in Uber's self-driving technology department, and comes as Uber is heading towards an initial public offering of stock.

Uber, a global logistics and transportation company most recently valued at $76 billion in the private market, is seeking a valuation as high as $120 billion, although some analysts have pegged its value closer to $100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed. But he has indicated a desire to continue developing autonomous cars in the hope that Uber will lead the way to a possible future where robots replace human drivers. Furthermore, in 2018, Uber's self-driving vehicle made headlines for hitting and killing a pedestrian in Arizona.

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In addition to Uber, SoftBank has poured money into ride-hailing companies such as Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia.

After losing about $3.3 billion past year, Uber is hoping to bring a change in the automobile industry by introducing self-driven cars. But considering the massive bet it has on Uber, SoftBank will want to do whatever it can to boost the business. SoftBank has put $2.25 billion in General Motors Co's self-driving unit Cruise, which has additionally gotten assets from Honda Motor.

While both, SoftBank and Uber, refused to make any comment, a spokesman for Toyota said that the company "constantly reviews and considers various options for investment".

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