SoftBank, Toyota Plan to Invest $1 Billion in Self-Driving Unit of Uber
SoftBank Group Corp and Toyota Motor Corp are said to be in a discussion of investing $1 billion or more into the self-driving unit of Uber Technologies Inc., raising the value of the unit to $10 billion from $5 billion.
The investment is said to provide an inflow of cash for Uber’s self-driving program, which is costing the startup to lose hundreds of millions without making any revenue.
The investment by SoftBank and Toyota can also help the ride providing firm in establishing its value as it prepares to enter the stock market. The value is expected to top $100 billion.
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”. However, as of now, they have nothing to share.
The investment talks were said to be reported at first by The Wall Street Journal. The media house claimed that a deal could be finalized by next month. While SoftBank shares raised by 4% in the morning Tokyo trade, there were no changes in the Toyota’s stock.
Toyota, the largest automobile maker of Japan, also invested $500 million into Uber last year, for its project on self-driven cars, where both companies can be seen as straggling competitors just like, Waymo, a self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc.
After losing about $3.3 billion last year, Uber is hoping to bring a change in the automobile industry by introducing self-driven cars.
Following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona last year by Uber’s one of self-driving cars, the developing technology came under a greater inspection. However, prosecutors dismissed any speculation to pursue criminal charges last week.
SoftBank has also made another investment of $2.25 billion in a self-driving unit Cruise of General Motors Co’s, which is also being funded by Honda Motor Co Ltd.
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