Friday, 19 October, 2018

Uber: Softbank takes large stake in ride-hailing firm

Uber-CEO-Travis-Kalanick Business Insider Will Wei
Scott Davis | 29 December, 2017, 01:49

Uber's shareholders have agreed to sell a 20pc stake to an investor group led by SoftBank, according to The Wall Street Journal, crossing the threshold needed for the deal to complete.

Uber closed a multibillion dollar deal led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank on Thursday, allowing some of the company's largest shareholders to divest.

The Journal did not offer any figure as to the amount Fair might have spent to acquire Uber's leasing unit.

Lucky for Uber, the company will still retain its title of "most valuable startup", as second place goes to WeWork, which is now valued at $31 billion.

Bill Gurley
Benchmark Capital general partner and former Uber board member Bill Gurley Reuters

The investor group is also buying about $1.25bn worth of new shares at a price that values the firm at nearly $70bn, a significantly higher price that is similar to what Uber shares fetched in its last fundraising round. SoftBank and the rest of consortium, which includes Dragoneer Investment Group, will own about 17.5%, including a secondary share purchase from earlier investors and employees, as well as $1.25bn of fresh funding. Misra said SoftBank had "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees". The bid placed a 30 percent discount on Uber compared to its 2014 valuation of $68.5 billion which made it the world's most valuable startup, with SoftBank also agreeing to inject $1 billion into the company at its old valuation in an attempt to avoid a scenario in which the firm is severely devalued as a result of the move.

Getting the company ready to go public will be Khosrowshahi's ultimate goal over the next year, though it won't be easy. In an earlier report in August, the paper said Uber was losing roughly $9,000 a vehicle, 18 times more than previously believed.

Uber will use the investment "to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance", a spokesperson, who declined to be named, said. However some Uber investors were concerned the price SoftBank was offering was too low, according to Recode.

The change is expected to reduce the influence of former chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was ousted from the top role in June but remains a board member.




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