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SoftBank says considering investment in Uber but no final agreement reached
14 November 2017, 12:36 | Cesar Cruz
NATION-NOW Uber nears deal for huge Soft Bank investment
Uber nears deal for huge Soft Bank investment
"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", a company statement said in a statement Sunday evening.
SoftBank and Dragoneer are leading a consortium that plans to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber, the mostly highly valued venture-backed company in the world, along with a purchase of up to 17 percent of existing shares in a secondary transaction.
Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank's $93 billion tech investment fund, warned that the company could walk away if Uber shareholders demand too much.
Uber unveiled the deal after former CEO Travis Kalanick and an influential investor reportedly buried the hatchet after a long feud.
SoftBank Investment Advisors and SoftBank Group Corp board director, Rajeev Misra emphasised that "by no means is our investment decided".
Some investors worry that the Vision Fund will buy into startups at high prices, overinflating the market, while crowding out other investors and prolonging the time it takes for young companies to go public.
Meanwhile, SoftBank has been diversifying through investment for several years, and has ventured into sectors outside its core mobile technology business - completing deals with the likes of French robotics firm Aldebaran and e-commerce with Chinese giant Alibaba (Berlin: AHLA.BE - news). As well as boosting its investments in technology, Uber said it would strengthen its corporate governance.
Uber does not necessarily need new money, as it has raised more than $10 billion in debt and equity and has some $5 billion in the bank.
"It's good that SoftBank is always positive towards investing in fast-growing companies". The deal could also be the largest private stock sale ever, and will create a host of new San Francisco millionaires as early employees sell shares. The firm, led by Masayoshi Son, could help Uber navigate its relationships with those global rivals. Both companies have pumped in millions of dollars towards rider discounts and driver incentives.
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