Uber board also passed a series of measures to improve corporate governance and diminish the power of former CEO Travis Kalanick.

SoftBank to invest nearly 1 billion in Uber after board approves investment
Atom Uber Wednesday, October 04, 2017 - 09:24

Global ride hailing firm and one of the world’s best-funded startup, Uber is set to receive funding from SoftBank, one of the world’s largest investors.

Uber’s board of directors has unanimously voted to move forward with a proposed investment by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group.

The quantum of investment is not known as the deal has not yet been finalized, but TechCrunch reports that the amount could between $8 billion and $10 billion.

“SoftBank’s interest is an incredible vote of confidence in Uber’s business and long-term potential, and we look forward to finalizing the investment in the coming weeks,” the board said in a statement.

This move comes at a time when there is a rift in the board, especially with former CEO Travis Kalanick. Reuters reports that the fractured board has declared peace and apart from bringing in SoftBank, has passed a series of measures to improve corporate governance and diminish the power of Travis.

As per the Reuters report, the deal could be subject to a lawsuit and is contingent on the multi-billion dollar investment by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp closing in the coming weeks.

New York Times reports that the deal is also contingent on changing the company’s governance structure so that some of its early investors would have an incentive to sell.

As part of the deal, Uber’s valuation will remain at $69 billion, which is highest among the world’s venture-backed startups.

In paving way for SoftBank to join the board and to improve corporate governance in the company, the board also proposed a slew of other measures. Directors approved a resolution for Uber to go public by 2019.

Last week, Uber appointed Ursula Burns, former CEO and Chairwoman of Xerox and John Thain, who has served as CEOs of CIT Group, Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange to the board. These were reportedly the seats that SoftBabk wanted.

The board of directors also voted to remove super-voting rights from some shareholders, Axios reports.

However, an expected move that did not happen was that the board of directors did not approve making changes that would formally prevent former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick from regaining control of the company. However, the changes did reportedly reduce Kalanick’s board power, reports Reuters.

SoftBank’s investment into Uber comes a day after it invested $2 billion into Uber’s biggest Indian rival Ola. It will now be interesting to see how the landscape of the Indian cab hailing market will change with both the top players sharing the same large investor. 

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