Reports say that SoftBank has contacted Uber about the possibility of buying a “multi-billion dollar stake” in the ridesharing company — less than a day after it agreed to put $2 billion into Southeast Asia’s Grab alongside Didi.
According to TechCrunch, the news is surprising since Uber rivals those two carsharing companies. SoftBank has also recently backed Ola, Uber’s competitor in India.
Uber has raised close to $12 billion from investors to date, with its most recent valuation reportedly above $60 billion. Uber declined to comment on the report, while SoftBank has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Bloomberg reported earlier this month that SoftBank was ready to acquire shares from existing Uber investors amid concerns about the future of the ridesharing company. Some of Uber’s recent issues include the departure of CEO Travis Kalanick, senior VP Emil Michael and other C-levels executives, as well as the findings of the Holder report, which were released in June and started when former engineer Susan Fowler exposed the culture of sexism and sexual harassment at Uber.
Sources point out that any investment — which could include fresh money for the company beyond secondary share sales — would happen after the appointment of the next Uber CEO. And that process looks like it will take some time to be resolved.
SoftBank unveiled its Vision Fund, with an initial close of $93 billion in May, but that won’t be involved in any potential investment in carsharing companies due to conflicts of interest with SoftBank Corp.