One of the world’s most prolific investors in technology startups, Softbank Group has said that it would be interested in looking at investing cab-hailing companies like Uber or Lyft in the future, as per a Reuters report.
Softbank, which is an investor into Uber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab and Chinese rival Didi Chuxing, has indicated its interest in Uber for the first time. In fact, there were media reports earlier that Uber’s board were also considering a stock sale to Softbank.
"We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft, we have not decided which way. Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don't know what will be the end result," SoftBank's CEO and founder Masayoshi Son told Reuters.
For the quarter gone by, Softbank says its operating profit rise 50% year-on-year to $4.32 billion after it added its new reportable segment Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund. It claims to have gained 105 billion yen on its stake in graphics chip maker Nvidia.
Son expects Vision Fund to contribute several hundred billion yen in annual revenue, if all goes as planned.
Vision Fund, backed by investors including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, Apple and Foxconn, has raised more than $93 billion.
The fund is expected to clock a 44% internal rate of return, something Softbank says Son has delivered on his investments in internet firms over the last 18 years. Its backers expect the fund to either match or beat this 44%.
SoftBank's wireless carrier Sprint Corp is also exploring options such as a merger with T-Mobile US or a tie-up with cable provider Charter Communications to help boost finances.
Sprint, in which SoftBank has about an 80 percent stake, last week reported a quarterly profit for the first time in three years as a result of cost-cutting efforts.
"There are multiple possible business consolidation partners and negotiations are ongoing," Son told Reuters.