Uber is said to near sale of RM4b self-driving stake

Roman Schwartz
March 17, 2019

Since Uber still has weeks of preparation before releasing third IPO, Lyft has a great shot at issuing Lyft IPO before Uber gets a chance to do so, which will help the company avoid being overshadowed by Uber that undoubtedly has more operational force in oppose to Lyft.

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 self-driving division itself would reportedly be valued at between $5 and $10 billion. Uber would maintain majority control of the self-driving arm and would use the investment to fund its research and development.

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. A $1 billion infusion could ease worries about how costly it is to develop autonomous cars.

Toyota is also in the consortium with Softbank discussing the investment, Reuters reported.

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Uber's revenue past year was $11.3 billion, while its gross bookings from rides were $50 billion. The company lost $US911 million.

As for SoftBank's investment in Uber specifically, the company is expected to nearly double its investment when Uber goes public in the coming months.

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.

A Toyota spokesman said the automaker "constantly reviews and considers various options for investment" but does not have anything to announce. In June, the Japanese technology conglomerate agreed to invest billions in another self-driving business, General Motor Co's Cruise.

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