As part of the deal, expected to close early next year, Uber will offer potential drivers in the United States access to Fair to lease a auto, the Journal reported. However, the Journal reports that SoftBank will limit its stake to 15%.
The vast majority of that investment comes from SoftBank buying up shares held by existing Uber shareholders, including employees and earlier investors. Additionally, SoftBank intends to invest about $1.25 billion in Uber at the higher valuation. Since then, Uber, which has yet to turn an annual profit, has endured scandal after scandal, changing how investors and the general public view the company.
"We look forward to working with the purchasers to close the overall transaction", the Uber spokesperson said. Uber will add six directors and expand voting rights for its investors, and Benchmark will drop its lawsuit against embattled former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
Erik Gordon, an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, told Reuters the stockholders did the smart thing. Misra said SoftBank had "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees".
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The deal will allow SoftBank to invest a significant amount of its "Vision Fund", a $100 billion fund earmarked for technology-focused companies around the world. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company's board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber. However some Uber investors were concerned the price SoftBank was offering was too low, according to Recode.
Uber said the investment would fuel its expansion and technology investments.
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The Uber investment comes after a year of troubles for the company, including a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc's self-driving vehicle unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators.
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has taken a keen interest in ride-hailing companies around the world, and already has sizeable stakes in China's Didi, Brazil-based 99, India's Ola and Singapore's Grab, all of which have competed with Uber.
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