Uber self-driving cars' could see US$1b investment

Lloyd Doyle
March 16, 2019

Toyota, the largest automobile maker of Japan, also invested $500 million into Uber a year ago, 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.

Uber will actually get beaten to an IPO by its smaller rival, Lyft, which is expected to complete its IPO in the coming weeks. Uber declined to comment.

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.

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.

After losing about $3.3 billion previous year, Uber is hoping to bring a change in the automobile industry by introducing self-driven cars. But the company lost $3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russian Federation and Southeast Asia.

Both companies have been steadily increasing revenue, however, both companies are also losing billions of dollars per year as they attempt to reign in costs and make other tweaks in their quest to achieve profitability. While the businesses are quite a bit different both in terms of scale and complexity, Lyft is easily the closest competitor and market equivalent to Uber. The company lost $911 million. 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.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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