With SoftBank, Uber wants to get into the adult

Photo: Shizuo When He Was Only Kambayashi Associated Press
After long procrastination, Uber has reached an agreement in principle to sell part of its stake in the japanese group.

The arrival of SoftBank capital Uber could finally allow the american company to enter into adulthood after early days marked by scandals and controversies.


After long procrastination, Uber has reached an agreement in principle to sell part of its stake in the japanese group. It is expected to invest billions of dollars into the company via a stake of up to 14 % of the capital. “We have reached an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer [a private equity firm based in San Francisco] with regard to a potential investment,” said Uber on Sunday evening. “We believe that this agreement provides for a vote of significant confidence on the potential of Uber in the long term,” said the group, which combines the financial losses.


Even if SoftBank took care on Monday to clarify that” in no case, [his] investment is not decided ” definitely, the agreement in principle given by Uber shows that its board of directors has finally found a common ground, after weeks of struggles, mainly between the former boss of the controversial Travis Kalanick and a large shareholder, the fund and its Benchmark.




“The investment from SoftBank suggests that Uber has become much more mature “, think of an independent analyst Robert Enderle. “It is a sign that SoftBank is now much more comfortable, because the board of directors [of Uber] proves that it regains control, and this shows that a large part of the bad image of Uber is behind” him, abounds analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates).


Positive signs all the more expected that the new boss, Dara Khosrowshahi, appointed at the end of August to put Uber on the rails, provides an entrance Scholarship to 2019. The new p.-d. g. has officially whistled the end of recess : Uber should spend “to an era of growth at any price to that of a responsible growth,” he said a few days ago.


Start dazzling


Co-founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick, Uber has had a meteoric rise : present today in more than 630 cities around the world, the company has revolutionized the transport sector by launching its booking platform. Valued at approximately $ 68 billion, Uber is the start-the most expensive in the world.


But this success is largely attributed to the personality bubbly and rebellious Travis Kalanick, has not done without clashes : Uber has set back the taxis traditional in many countries and ends up in conflict with regulators of transport, such as London, where the group has just lost his license. If it is at the origin of its success, Mr. Kalanick is also held responsible for the setbacks of the group : it had been pushed to the release in June by jittery investors, including Benchmark, but remains a member of the board of directors.


The group is also facing a series of investigations, in particular on suspicions of foreign bribery or the use of illegal software. At the beginning of December, Uber is also going to face a lawsuit filed by Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google), who is accused of theft of technologies.


“The problems with Uber are endemic and deeply rooted in the culture and the image of the group,” says Rob Enderle. “This is a good start, but […] the hard part is to come,” he adds. “We must wait to see if the previous management, which still owns a lot of units, may be back in the race “, also warns Jack Gold.


Another challenge to Uber, tip, Trip Chowdhry of the firm Global Equities : the competition. Its rival american Lyft, which has a reputation far less controversial than Uber, has just announced on Monday that it was launching for the first time outside of u.s. borders, to Canada. “It is too early to say [if this is a new beginning],we’ll have to wait and see what Uber has to offer,” said Mr Chowdhry, who thinks that the company is currently largely overvalued.

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