SoftBank and Japan’s Auto Industry Finances $1 Billion to Uber’s Self-Driving Unit

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced of receiving $1 billion funding from Japanese conglomerate, which includes SoftBank’s Vision Fund, car maker Toyota, and automotive component supplier Denso. The $1 billion would provide the company with the much-needed funding boost for the pricey self-driving desire before the public stock offering.

The news of the finance affirms an article published earlier this week in a leading daily that reported about Uber being very close to obtaining finance for its autonomous division, labelled as Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or UberATG.

The announcement of this investment was made through a tweet by Khosrowshahi. He even shared a picture of him along with the executives from SoftBank, Toyota, and Denso.

On Thursday, Uber Technologies Inc. stated that the investment values its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), which is working to construct and manufacture autonomous driving technology, at $7.25 billion. Uber’s IPO whose date is not yet known stated that the IPO is going to raise around $10 billion.

SoftBank would be investing $333 million from its $100 billion Vision Fund; while Toyota Motor Corp. and automotive parts supplier Denso Corp. would be investing a combined $667 million.

The deal doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have been watching Uber’s finances very closely. The ride-hailing company received already a $500 million investment from Toyota last year in August in order to hasten its self-driving efforts, which includes placing a retrofitted fleet of Toyota Sienna on road for testing Uber’s autonomous technology and ultimately and use it commercially as soon as 2021.

The financing is a mark of confidence in UberATG from the Japanese financial and automotive industries after a few years of choppy stateside research and development.

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