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Uber reportedly planning an April IPO

17 March 2019
Uber reportedly planning an April IPO

For the record, Uber has been exploring a deal with outside investors for its self-driving business since 2018.

Ride-hailing giant, Uber Technologies Inc.is reportedly in talks with investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund, to sell its self-driving vehicle unit stake for around $1 billion. Apart from SoftBank, the investor consortium includes an automaker, they added. Uber's initial public offering is said to to be one of the biggest of the year, at a $120 billion valuation, a major jump from its current valuation at $72 billion.

SoftBank has also made another investment of $2.25 billion in a self-driving unit Cruise of General Motors Co's, which is also being funded by Honda Motor Co Ltd.

Uber, a global logistics and transportation company most recently valued at $US76 billion ($108 billion) in the private market, is seeking a valuation as high as $US120 billion, although some analysts have pegged its value closer to $US100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed. The late-stage discussions were reported earlier on Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal. However, he indicated plans to continue developing self-driving cars in the future with hopes to lead the way autonomous cars.

Following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago by Uber's one of self-driving cars, the developing technology came under a greater inspection.

Uber, which previous year lost about $3.3 billion, is betting on a transition to self-driving cars to eliminate the need to pay drivers. The company has burned through more than US$10 billion in its lifetime, and the development of autonomous cars accounts for a sizeable chunk.

As for SoftBank's investment in Uber specifically, the company is expected to nearly double its investment when Uber goes public in the coming months. But considering the massive bet it has on Uber, SoftBank will want to do whatever it can to boost the business.

Uber and SoftBank declined to comment to Reuters, while Toyota said it didn't have anything to announce.