Softbank takes aim at Uber, seeks multibillion-dollar stake

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 27, 2017

Monday, July 24, it became known that SoftBank and Didi Chuxing provided Grab funding in the amount of $ 2 billion.

Now, SoftBank wants to go after Uber itself.

Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is pushing to take a multibillion dollar stake in Uber Technologies Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is yet again advising Japan's Softbank as it invests along with China's Didi Chuxing in Southeast Asia's Grab.

The joint lead investors are expected to pump up to US$2bn into the transportation and payments "unicorn", while other investors are expected to pony up an additional US$500m to complete the new equity funding round, making it the largest tech financing in Southeast Asia.

The ride-hailing apps are popular with residents of congested Southeast Asian cities, who aside from using them for rides also find them convenient for fetching takeaway food, delivering documents and other tasks.

According to WSJ sources, the talks between SoftBank and Uber are in the early stages, and a decision on the proposal by Softbank would in any case be deferred pending the appointment of a new CEO of Uber, which is not worth the wait in the coming weeks. Uber declined to comment on the report. Uber has said it plans to combine its operations with Russian rival Yandex.Taxi, owned by Yandex NV.

Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market could grow to US$13.1 billion by 2025 - from US$2.5 billion in 2015 - according to a report past year by Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Singapore state-investment firm Temasek Holdings.

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