Uber plans to kick off IPO in April

Jeannie Matthews
March 17, 2019

In the case of Uber and Lyft, however, many large institutional investors already have access to the companies through participation in private rounds of investment.

Investors including Japanese technology giant Softbank are closing in on a deal to invest up to $1bn (£750m) in Uber's self-driving vehicle business. The investment group led by SoftBank, Uber's largest shareholder, would include other backers, and possibly at least one automaker, though their identities couldn't be learned.

Word of a potential infusion of cash valuing the Uber autonomous vehicle division at from $5 billion to $10 billion comes as the ride-hailing startup steers toward a hotly-anticipated stock market debut. Uber would maintain majority control of the self-driving arm and would use the investment to fund its research and development.

Uber is planning to file its S-1 prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April and begin its investor roadshow shortly thereafter, Reuters said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. The company, based in San Francisco, could hit a valuation of $120 billion when it reaches the stock market.

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Toyota is also in the consortium with Softbank discussing the investment, Reuters reported.

Uber's Advanced Technologies Group is leading the ride-hailing company's efforts to develop its own self-driving technology, putting it in competition with Google spin-off Waymo and General Motors' Cruise. Its fleet of vehicles was also grounded for nine months a year ago after one of the autonomous cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

After losing about $3.3 billion previous year, Uber is hoping to bring a change in the automobile industry by introducing self-driven cars. We can expect to learn things like Uber's full 2018 financial performance and just how much money the company has been losing. Japan's SoftBank is now their largest investor.

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".

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