Uber Technologies Inc is in advanced discussions to sell a US$1 billion (RM4.09 billion) stake in its costly self-driving vehicle unit to a consortium of investors led by SoftBank Group Corp, people familiar with the plans said. Uber would maintain majority control of the self-driving arm and would use the investment to fund its research and development.
Uber Technologies Inc is planning to file for an initial public offering in April, according to people familiar with the matter cited by Reuters. The deal would value the self-driving business at $5 billion to $10 billion, the people said.
We've reported that Uber could be valued as high as $120 billion based on the investments its received thus far. But its autonomous unit, formed in 2014, loses between $100 million and $200 million each quarter. Furthermore, in 2018, Uber's self-driving vehicle made headlines for hitting and killing a pedestrian in Arizona. But he has indicated a desire to continue developing autonomous cars in the hope that Uber will lead the way to a possible future where robots replace human drivers.
Uber, which past year lost about $3.3 billion, is betting on a transition to self-driving cars to eliminate the need to pay drivers.
Lyft, a smaller firm which has ride-hailing and bike-renting in the United States and several Canadian cities, is seeking a valuation of $US20 billion to $US25 billion, up from its $US15 billion valuation as a private company.
The news also comes at the heels of SoftBank's aggressive strategy of heavily investing in AV programs across the industry. In June, the Japanese technology conglomerate agreed to invest billions in another self-driving business, General Motor Co's Cruise.
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".