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

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

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

SoftBank and Uber declined to comment. 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. Lyft, by contrast, said in its prospectus that its 2018 revenue totaled $2.2 billion and a loss of $911 million, which according to Axios would be the largest loss ever for a company entering the public markets for the first time.

Lyft, a smaller firm which has ride-hailing and bike-renting in the United States and several Canadian cities, is seeking a valuation of $US20 billion to $US25 billion, up from its $US15 billion valuation as a private company.

For the record, Uber has been exploring a deal with outside investors for its self-driving business since 2018. Lyft filed its own prospectus on March 1 and is expected to debut in the public stock market later this month.

SoftBank is already a major investor in Uber after it acquired about 17.5 percent of the ride-hailing firm's stock past year at a significant discount. Lyft, meanwhile, is looking for a market valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion after being valued at $15 billion in its most recent private funding.

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Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi will be tasked with convincing investors that he has successfully changed the company's culture and business practices after a series of embarrassing scandals over the last two years. But its autonomous unit, formed in 2014, loses between $100 million and $200 million each quarter.

It operates in more than 70 countries and includes ride-hailing, bike and scooter rentals, freight hauling, food delivery and a self-driving vehicle division.

The Japanese holding conglomerate's SoftBank Vision Fund has been known to support Silicon Valley ventures, with its latest being a $1 billion investment in Uber's self-driving subsidiary ahead of its upcoming IPO, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Those have included sexual harassment allegations, a massive data breach that was concealed from regulators, use of illicit software to evade authorities and allegations of bribery overseas.

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