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Uber plans to kick off IPO in April

16 March 2019

SoftBank's Vision Fund and Toyota Motor Corp. are part of a consortium of investors in talks to invest $1 billion in Uber's self-driving auto unit, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Uber is in "late stage talks" with SoftBank about a $US1 billion or more investment into its self-driving vehicle unit, a source familliar with the matter told Business Insider on Wednesday. The plans aren't finalised and could fall apart.

Uber and SoftBank declined to comment to Reuters, while Toyota said it didn't have anything to announce. The late-stage discussions were reported earlier on Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Waymo said this month that it would sell a key innovation to companies that don't compete with its autonomous cars.

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Selling a piece of the self-driving business would allow Uber to offload part of a very expensive endeavour, as it faces scrutiny from prospective investors in an initial public offering planned for the coming months.

In addition to the financial liability, the autonomous-car effort has had a tumultuous history. It built on the effort by acquiring a self-driving truck startup, which led to a high-profile lawsuit from a sister company to Alphabet Inc's Google, accusing Uber of benefiting from stolen trade secrets.

Uber's revenue past year was $US11.3 billion, while its gross bookings from rides were $US50 billion.

Since Uber still has weeks of preparation before releasing third IPO, Lyft has a great shot at issuing Lyft IPO before Uber gets a chance to do so, which will help the company avoid being overshadowed by Uber that undoubtedly has more operational force in oppose to Lyft.

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Uber has been exploring a deal to bring on outside investors for the self-driving business since previous year.

The news also comes at the heels of SoftBank's aggressive strategy of heavily investing in AV programs across the industry.

It's a somewhat curious move for SoftBank. The former previously invested in Uber and in 2018 made a $2.25 billion investment in General Motors' self-driving auto division.

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

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Uber plans to kick off IPO in April