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Uber's Self-driving Car Unit To Get $1 Bln Investment From SoftBank, Others

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. said Thursday that a consortium of investors that includes Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBF.PK) will invest $1 billion in the company's self-driving car unit.

Automaker Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), automotive parts supplier Denso Corp. (DNZOY.PK) and SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $1 billion in the company's autonomous vehicle unit, Advanced Technologies Group or ATG.

Uber's announcement of the $1 billion investment comes just ahead of its highly-anticipated initial public offering or IPO.

The investment by the consortium, in a newly-formed ATG corporate entity, is intended to speed up the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services, Uber noted.

The investments will value the new Uber ATG entity at $7.25 billion on a post-money basis. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of calendar year 2019.

Under the terms of the deal, SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund will invest $333 million, while Toyota and Denso will together invest $667 million. SoftBank and Toyota are already investors in Uber.

Toyota will also contribute up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities, Uber said. Toyota has earlier invested $500 million in Uber in August 2018 and said it will expand a partnership to jointly develop self-driving cars.

Uber and the consortium of investors noted that the investment will deepen their collaboration in designing and developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware. It will also prepare the companies and industry for mass production and commercialization of automated ridesharing vehicles and services.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, 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. The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable."

Uber is expected to go public in May. Last Thursday, Uber filed paperwork to go public, ending months of speculation about its IPO. Uber has filed to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange or NYSE under the trading symbol 'UBER.'

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