Japanese telecoms firm Softbank, is reportedly interested in investing a billion dollar stake in Uber, just a day after investing $2bn in rival Grab.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Japanese technology company has approached Uber about taking a stake in the ride-hailing firm, with sources cited by the publication saying that the offer could cause confusion between global competitors following its investment in multiple similar companies.
According to reports, the talks between Softbank and Uber are in the early stages and is expected to be ‘weeks away.’ No deal would be agreed until Uber has appointed a new chief exec, according to the Wall Street Journal report.
Softbank’s interest in Uber came about earlier this year, according to Bloomberg, after some Uber investors reduced their stakes in the business. This loss in investor confidence was attributed to the recent scandals hitting Uber concerning leadership and alleged discrimination.
Uber has faced a series of knockbacks this year, following the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick after investors requested new management share. Additional changes to the company include Uber board member Arianna Huffington emerging as the public face of the company.
Looking to alter the culture of Uber, Arianna Huffington promotes improvements to a toxic workplace following the scandals with the company. With this in mind, new investors could contribute to the changing environment Huffington has in mind.
To date, Uber has raised almost $12billion from investors and is currently valued at around $60bn. In contrast, Grab is valued at $6bn following its recent $2.5bn investment
Softbank have already invested in other ride sharing firms in Asia, after it joined Didi Chuxing in a $2billion investment in South-East Asian ride-hailing firm Grab. , As well as agreeing an investment with Grab and Uber, Softbank have also invested in India’s cab firm, Ola.