Softbank close to $1bn investment in Uber's driverless vehicle business

SoftBank, Toyota in talks to invest $1B in Uber's self-driving unit: Report

The talks are still underway and may not result in an investment, said the people, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Uber will have the challenge of explaining and selling to investors a business that is more complex and less focused than Lyft's. The investment would value the unit at somewhere between $5bn and $10bn.

Uber, most recently valued at US$76 billion in the private market, is seeking a valuation as high as US$120 billion, although some analysts have pegged its value closer to US$100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed.

But Uber is under scrutiny for its losses - its net loss was $842 million in the fourth quarter - and self-driving technologies are expensive. However, he indicated plans to continue developing self-driving cars in the future with hopes to lead the way autonomous cars. The late-stage discussions were reported earlier on Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Uber has for years invested heavily in self-driving cars, which it has said will eventually become a primary mode of transportation, replacing its human drivers.

Waymo said this month that it would sell a key innovation to companies that don't compete with its autonomous cars.

Following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago by Uber's one of self-driving cars, the developing technology came under a greater inspection. As part of an agreement with employees, the company rewarded them with equity in Uber Freight as a stand-alone business late previous year.

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. Japan's SoftBank is now their largest investor. SoftBank has put $2.25 billion in General Motors Co's self-driving unit Cruise, which has additionally gotten assets from Honda Motor.

Lyft and Uber are not only competing for customers but, in the close timing of their respective IPOs, for investor dollars as well.

A Toyota spokesman said the automaker "constantly reviews and considers various options for investment" but does not have anything to announce.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Rebellion unveils Sniper Elite 5, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
It includes all the DLCs as well as having a new Switch-exclusive local multiplayer. The games put players in a what-if scenario of actual world history.

'Everybody ran to save themselves' - Eye witnesses recount New Zealand Mosque attack
She said the focus of New Zealand's security agencies have been monitoring extremism "regardless of where it comes from". The white supremacist revealed he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

Gaza border protests called off after Israel air raids - organizers
The escalation followed weeks of growing tensions and came at an especially sensitive time ahead of Israel's April 9 elections. Israel responded with warplanes, which hit 100 Hamas "terror sites", a statement from the Israel Defense Force said.

Flooding in wake of 'bomb cyclone' threatens Nebraska nuclear plant
Winds will relax as we head through the rest of Friday, with temperatures climbing into the 40s by this afternoon. Partly cloudy skies with highs in the mid to upper 40s expected for Saturday and Sunday.

Bernie Sanders' staff unionizes in presidential campaign first
If a majority of workers sign them, the union presents those cards to the employer so that the employer will recognize the union. The next step is for the campaign and the union to begin negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement, the union said.

Other news