Japan's SoftBank turns in strong Q1, mulls Uber investment

Javier Stokes
August 8, 2017

Recent investments include USA online lender Kabbage, which recently disclosed a $250 million investment from SoftBank.

"Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don't know what will be the end result". However, in a twist, Son said that SoftBank is also considering buying into Uber's arch enemy in the U.S., Lyft, instead. It's also invested in several major ride-hailing firms around the world, including Didi Chuxung in China, Grab in Japan, and Ola in India.

The idea of a merger was ruled out by U.S. regulators in 2014 under the Obama administration but with the new Trump administration in place, preliminary discussions began again earlier this year.

Lyft recently hit one million rides per day, and its valuation is rising while Uber goes through a period of uncertainty without a CEO, but still its business is considerably smaller than Uber. It was absent from Lyft's latest funding round that raised $600 million in April.

Rumours have circulated in recent weeks that SoftBank had taken an interest in Uber, though there had also been suggestions that such a potential investment had been dismissed.

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For all that talk it doesn't appear that any kind of deal is on the table right now.

"We respect the decision of Snapdeal founders and we are engaged with Flipkart", Mr. Son said.

Son views ride sharing as a game changer for the transportation industry.

This comes months after SoftBank Group announced that it had invested $1.4 billion in the parent of Paytm, giving the digital payments start-up a boost as it looks to expand its user base and maintain its market lead in Asia's third-largest economy.

Autonomous cars are "definitely coming", he said.

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