Having already filed for an initial public offering (IPO) a week ago, Uber Technologies Inc. has now taken yet another massive step by obtaining a $1 billion dollar investment for its autonomous division.
Announced by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, this development confirms a report published by The Wall Street Journal which indicated that the ride-hailing service was nearing a funding deal for Uber Advanced Technologies Group, also known as UberATG. The investment group comprises of Japanese conglomerate Softbank, auto manufacturer Toyota and automobile component supplier Denso.
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) April 19, 2019
According to the ensuing press release, the investment has driven UberATG’s value to $7.25 billion. This is tremendous considering that the company plans to go public later this year, a move which will is expected to raise $10 billion for it and make its valuation soar to an astronomical $100 billion.
As far as the specifics of the investment deal are concerned, Toyota and Denso are collectively contributing a total $667 million, while Softbank is pooling $333 million into the ride-hailing company. These faces aren’t all that new for Uber since Softbank has previously invested $8 billion in the company thereby making the Japanese firm the largest shareholder, while Toyota has also added $500 million to Uber’s coffers in order to boost its self-driving technology.
In a statement to the press following the deal, Khosrowshahi said, “This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead for this important project, alongside great partners.”
He is confident that self-driving technology is poised to shape the future of transportation and that this investment is a significant step in ensuring Uber’s dominance in that space.
“The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable. Today’s announcement, along with our ongoing OEM and supplier relationships, will help maintain Uber’s position at the forefront of that transformation,” he said.
This development will surely come across as an immense relief for the ride-hailing company, as it proves that Japanese industries are confident in its ability to deliver. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when the company found itself the target of criminal charges when one of its autonomous cars killed 49-year-old Elain Herzberg and resulted in the termination of the company’s test program.