Uber plans to sell a stake of its self-driving technologies plant to other investors and SoftBank for around $1 billion, as the ride-hailing company is planning to go public, according people with knowledge of the matter.
The preparation is still underway and may not necessarily in an investment, confirmed the people, who questioned anonymity as they were not authorized to state anything publicly. Besides the SoftBank, the investor consortium also includes an automaker, these people added.
In the terms of the proposed deal, the investors are likely to buy from a pool of Uber stock particularly embarked for the self-driving technologies unit. Uber attempt to maintain its maximum control of the self-driving arm and probably utilize the investment to fund its research and development. The deal is estimated to have a valuation of the self-driving business at $5 billion to $10 billion, the people asserted.
In the end of the year, uber filed confidentially to move public about what would be one of the biggest tech initial public offering of last years. A San Francisco based company may hit a valuation of $120 billion when it goes to the stock market.
But Uber is being scrutinized for its damages — its gross loss was $842 million in the fourth quarter — and highly-priced self-driving technologies. A $1 billion infusion will probably ease down concerns about how expensive it is to build autonomous cars.
For many years, Uber has invested highly in self-driving, which the company said will eventually become highly preferred mode of transportation, substituting its human driver. In 2014, formation of its autonomous unit took place and loses between$100 million and $200 million each quarter. Its plentiful fleet of vehicles was also grounded for last nine months after one of the autonomous cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. In the past, Uber has considered spinning off the unit as a separate entity.
“Toyota constantly reviews and considers various options for investment, but we do not have anything to announce about a further investment in Uber at this time,” a Toyota spokeswoman said on Wednesday.