This $ 1 billion is especially welcome for the specialist in chauffeur-driven car booking platforms. Firstly because it is preparing its next IPO, which promises to be one of the most important in history. But also because its car division (Uber ATG) had a setback last year when a car without a driver had mortally hit a pedestrian.
The Japanese automotive giant Toyota, together with Japanese equipment maker Denso, and its compatriot SoftBank Group, through the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF), announced Friday a $ 1 billion investment in the US Uber, to accelerate the development of autonomous driving services.
This billion is distributed thus between the protagonists: Toyota, associated with the Japanese equipment manufacturer Denso, will invest 667 million dollars, and SVF, 333 million dollars, according to a communique.
Softbank, largest shareholder (16%) of Uber
The two companies are thus strengthening their stake in Uber, as the specialist for chauffeur-driven car booking platforms prepares for its IPO, which promises to be one of the most important in history.
In addition to the investment announced Friday, Toyota will disburse $ 300 million more over the next three years. The Japanese manufacturer had already invested $ 500 million in August 2018, while SoftBank Group is the largest shareholder of the US group to the tune of 16% ($ 8 billion).
This investment in the Uber Autonomous Division (Uber ATG) is welcome for the company that has had some disappointments in its tests, which it had to interrupt for several months last year when a car without driver had mortally hit a pedestrian.
The autonomous car, a boiling field
Advertisements are proliferating in this area, seen as the future of transport, even if manufacturers are now more cautious, forced to postpone spectacular products originally announced for 2020 face the complexity and cost of technology.
This inflow of funds from Japanese companies comes as Uber has filed its case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, but without yet specify its ambitions in terms of raising fresh money or the date of its first listing.
According to banking sources, Uber aims for a valuation – the total value of the company on the stock market calculated by multiplying the price of the share by the number of securities in circulation – close to 100 billion dollars. These sources also mention an IPO that could occur in May.