Uber nears deal for huge Softbank investment


A person aware of the development said that the long-awaited deal has been on table since October but was delayed by a corporate governance and legal dispute between investor Benchmark Capital and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick.

The investment could be announced Sunday, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investment has not been finalized.

"We've entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment", Matt Kallman, an Uber spokesman e-mailed Ars in a statement on Sunday.

Benchmark brought legal action in an attempt to rid the board of his influence, but both sides have agreed to the Softbank sale.

According to a Bloomberg report, the agreement lets SoftBank and other firms invest up to $1 billion in Uber, and proceed with a tender offer in coming weeks to buy up to $9 billion in shares from existing investors.

"We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber's long-term potential", it added.

The move also clears the way for Uber to go public among the most valuable tech firms in the world.

According to Fortune, Kalanick, who still controls three board seats, including his own.

This new funding deal will only be done once enough Uber shareholders opt to sell their shares.

SoftBank is sending tremors through the tech world with its massive new Vision Fund, a venture capital fund intended for startups and expected to dominate the industry before long. Kalanick appointed them in September without first consulting with the board.

Uber's board already approved a slate of governance reforms that are contingent on completion of the SoftBank deal.

The deal allows early investors such as Benchmark to sell at least some of their shares at a handsome profit, and also makes it possible for Uber to sell stock to the public, perhaps within the next 18 months.

The deal gives early investors such as Benchmark, whose Uber stake is worth almost $9 billion, the opportunity to cash out a very lucrative investment.