SAN FRANCISCO – Uber is negotiating to sell a stake in its self-propelled technology unit to SoftBank and other investors for as much as $ 1 billion, as the company is preparing to become public, according to four people with knowledge of the case.
The conversations are still ongoing and cannot result in an investment, the people said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Apart from SoftBank, the investor consortium includes a car manufacturer, they added.
According to the terms of the proposed agreement, investors would purchase from a pool of the Uber share specifically earmarked for the self-propelled technology unit. Uber wanted to maintain the majority of the self-employed arm and would use the investment to fund its research and development. The deal would appreciate the $ 5 billion $ 1
Uber filed confidential to become public in December in what would be one of the greatest technological preliminary public offerings in recent years. The company, based in San Francisco, can make a valuation of $ 120 billion on the stock market.
But Uber is under investigation for his losses – the net loss was $ 842 million in the fourth quarter – and self-driving technologies are expensive. An $ 1 billion infusion can make it easier to worry about how expensive it is to develop autonomous cars.
The proposed investment was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal in .
For years Uber has invested heavily in self-driving cars, as it has said will eventually become a primary mode of transport, replacing its human drivers. But the autonomous unit, which was formed in 2014, loses between $ 100 million and $ 200 million every quarter. The car's fleet was also grounded for nine months last year after one of the autonomous cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Previously, Uber has considered rewinding the device as a separate unit.
Uber Freight, the company's long-distance trucking business, also has its own valuation based on equity money specifically earmarked for the unit. As part of an agreement with employees, the company rewarded them with equity in Uber Freight as a stand-alone business last year.
SoftBank is already a large investor in Uber after it bought around 17.5 per cent of the shipping company stock last year at a significant discount. In addition to Uber, SoftBank has raised money for riders such as Ola in India and Grip in Southeast Asia.
SoftBank has also invested in businesses focusing on autonomous vehicles. In mid-2018, the firm invested $ 2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings, a division of General Motors. Structuring Cruises as a separate entity made it possible for General Motors to isolate the losses from its autonomous division.
In August, Toyota invested $ 500 million in Uber . The move was meant to allow Uber to put its self-propelled technology into toyota cars.
"Toyota is constantly considering and considering various investment options, but we have nothing to announce about a further investment in Uber at this time," a Toyota spokesman said on Wednesday.