The deal could also include infusion of fresh funds into the ride-hailing startup.

Ubers board considering stock sale to SoftBank and other investors
Atom Uber Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 11:29

While the search for Uber’s new chief is on, the tax hailing app’s shareholders and board, led by venture capital firm Benchmark are planning to sell some of their stock to SoftBank Group and other potential investors, according to a Bloomberg report.

The deal could also include infusion of fresh funds into the ride-hailing startup. While it is unclear what valuation those shares would carry or at how much may be sold, any private share sale like this would need to be approved by San Francisco-based Uber’s board.

Bloomberg reports that Travis Kalanick former CEO of Uber did not know about Benchmark’s plans to sell early shares until recently. And not just Travis, at least three other major shareholders said that they were unaware of the VC firms efforts to sell shares.

Some of Uber’s investors want it to strike deals with competitors overseas. This would be similar to the deals it cut with Didi Chuxing in China and Yandex NV in Russia. For example, there is Grab, a leading ride-hailing startup in Asia, which has raised nearly $2 billion from backers including SoftBank and Didi.

However, a person close to SoftBank told Bloomberg that it has no plans to invest in Uber. In fact, SoftBank has backed some of its biggest competitors like Ola in India.

Last valued at $69 billion, Uber has faced a series of scandals this year. Starting from claims of Uber’s work culture being sexist and those of sexual harassment, to the lawsuit from Google’s parent over its self-driving technology to the company losing its cofounder and CEO along with a number of other top executives.

The search continues for a new CEO, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, general counsel, and independent board chair.

Two smaller, longtime Uber investors have also started asking larger investment funds to purchase their shares, said two other people familiar with the matter.  Bloomberg reports that these backers are concerned that a leadership vacuum and growing competition from Lyft Inc. will dent Uber’s value.

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