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Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son plans stake in Uber or Lyft
08 August 2017, 12:52 | Lionel James
SoftBank Group Corp Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son speaks at Soft Bank World 2017 conference in Tokyo Japan
Recent investments include US online lender Kabbage, which recently disclosed a $250 million investment from SoftBank. A Wall Street Journal report in July suggested Uber executives were planning a stock sale to SoftBank.
SoftBank could make an investment in Uber, the troubled ride-hailing app which is now lacking a chief executive, finance chief, chief operating officer, engineering boss and general counsel.
"We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft, we have not decided which way", he told reporters and analysts on Monday after the company announced its quarterly results.
Son said autonomous driving and ride-hailing technologies make it even more critical for SoftBank to push into the industry: "The autonomous vehicle is definitely coming".
"The autonomous vehicle is definitely coming, and when that stage comes, this ride-share business becomes even more important", Son added. And when that stage comes, this ride sharing business becomes even more important.
The idea of investing in Uber, which rivals Ola, Grab and 99 but was beaten by Didi in China, has surprised many, but throw in the fact that SoftBank is also weighing its rival and there's likely to be further confusion over the motivation.
Son did not say whether an investment in the US ride hailing market would come from the so-called Vision Fund.
Softbank, which sells the Pepper robot, did not give an annual forecast, which is not unusual for the company.
"Presently there are multiple business consolidation parties that can be assumed, and negotiation has been ongoing", he said.
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