- Softbank’s Vision Fund is in late stage talks to invest $US1 billion into the ride-hailing giant’s self-driving car unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.
- The deal would value the self-driving car portion of Uber as a business worth $US5 billion to $US10 billion.
- Toyota is also in the consortium with Softbank discussing the investment, Reuters reported.
Uber is in “late stage talks” with SoftBank about a $US1 billion or more investment into its self-driving car unit, a source familliar with the matter told Business Insider on Wednesday. The cash infusion would shore up one of Uber’s costliest business ahead of its IPO, which is expected to happen this summer.
The deal would value Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group at $US5 billion to $US10 billion, the source said.
News of the funding round was first reported by the The Wall Street Journal, which said a major automaker was also involved in the discussions. Reuters later reported that Toyota is among the consortium discussing the investment with Uber,
Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group is leading the ride-hailing company’s efforts to develop its own self-driving technology, putting it in competition with Google spin-off Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise. The effort has required hefty spending by Uber and created distracting problems, such as a trade theft legal fight with Waymo.
In 2018, Uber stopped testing its self-driving cars for nine months after one of its vehicles killed a pedestrian in Arizona.A Business Insider investigation found that the pressure to catch up with competitors led to Uber’s self-driving group to make several questionable decisions before the fatal crash.
Softbank is already the largest investor in Uber, following a $US1.25 billion investment in January 2018 that gave it control of about 15% of the ride-hailing company.
The investment talks come as Uber is racing towards a public listing, with an IPO expected in the coming months.
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