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October 4, 2017

Uber board opens up to major Softbank investment

Softbank's investment could bring the u-turn Uber needs to improve the company.

By April Slattery

Uber has confirmed a significant investment from Softbank earlier this week, and numerous changes to the board.

The investment is said to be worth around $1.3bn, according to Reuters, and Uber said it is expected to be completed over the next couple of weeks.

Following a series of mis-haps for the company, the investment suggests a fresh start for the ride hailing firm as it is still in discussion over its licence status with Transport for London (TfL).

In a statement Uber said: “The board

Uber board opens up to major Softbank investment

Uber hopes SoftBank’s investment will help improve the business

voted unanimously to move forward with the proposed investment by Softbank and with governance changes that would strengthen its independence and ensure equality among all shareholders.”

The billion dollar deal between Uber and SoftBank will involve expanding the board seats from 11 to 17, including three independent directors voted in by Uber’s board and up to three seats for SoftBank.

Investing in the ride-hailing firm brings optimism to restructure the company after the series of events it has entailed over the last year.

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SoftBank was hailed by the firm earlier this week following a series of changes among the board including Jo Bertram, Uber’s London-based head of northern Europe affairs, as another new step for the company to reshape its image.

Other additions to the company include Ursula Burns, former CEO and Chariwoman of Xerox and John Thain, who previously was CEO of CIT Group and the New York Stock Exchange.

Uber and TfL continue talks this week
SoftBank has formed other partnerships this year

Further changes across the company include the voting rights for board members to a ‘one share, one vote’ policy, that would take away Uber’s earliest investors power such as former CEO Travis Kalanic, who remains on the board.

Looking positively to the future of the company and its investment, Uber said: “SoftBank’s interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber’s business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks.”

Along with SoftBanks investment, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues ‘constructive’ talks with TfL boss Mike Brown to revoke the licence decision.

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