Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced tonight a $ 1 billion investment from the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank's Vision Fund, automaker Toyota and auto component supplier Denso. The news confirms a article of The Wall Street Journal published earlier this week reporting that Uber was about to secure funds for his autonomous division, called Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or UberATG.
Khosrowshahi announced the investment with a tweet, which included a picture of the executive chef alongside executives from SoftBank, Toyota and Denso. According to the attached press release, the capital injection estimates Uber's self-sustaining unit at $ 7.25 billion, ahead of the company's initial public offering, likely later this year. Uber IPO, which does not yet have a fixed date, is expected to bring about $ 10 billion to the company that gets behind the wheel and give it a value of up to $ 100 billion. WSJ reports.
The investment terms indicate that Toyaota and Denso are contributing $ 667 million, while the SoftBank Vision Fund is contributing $ 333 million. The agreement should not surprise those who closely monitor Uber's finances; l & # 39; Company received a $ 500 million investment from Toyota in August 2018 specifically to help accelerate its self-driving efforts, including putting a refurbished Toyota Sienna fleet on the road to test Uber's standalone technology and deploy it commercially as early as 2021.
"This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group reflect the incredible work of our ATG team to date and the promising future of this important project, alongside excellent partners," Khosrowshahi said in a statement. communicated. "The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable, and today's announcement, along with our ongoing relationships between OEMs and suppliers, will help to maintain Uber's position at the forefront of this transformation. "
The financing is a sign of confidence in UberATG of the Japanese finance and automotive industries after a few years of bumpy research and development in the United States. Last month, the company avoided criminal prosecution during the first death ever suffered by an autonomous car, took place in March of last year and claimed the life of Elaine Herzberg, 49 years old. The fatal accident ended Uber's test program in Tempe, Arizona, but the the company has since resumed testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where UberATG is headquartered.
In addition to the accident, UberATG has been involved in a trade secret lawsuit with the competing auto-competing company Waymo, owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet. legal dispute that resulted in a surprise settlement last February after only one week of negotiations in the audience room. Partly because of the trial, Uber closed his self-driving truck unit, although the company let the engineers of the division work on an internal lidar project, and continues to develop to become a software logistics platform for delivery companies called Uber Freight.