This would mean that SoftBank, which already owns 14 percent of Uber by way of venture capitalism over the years, would take on a minority stake along with an unnamed carmaker in Uber's self-driving unit. While the businesses are quite a bit different both in terms of scale and complexity, Lyft is easily the closest competitor and market equivalent to Uber.
Lyft, a smaller firm which has ride-hailing and bike-renting in the United States and several Canadian cities, is seeking a valuation of $US20 billion to $US25 billion, up from its $US15 billion valuation as a private company. The company, based in San Francisco, could hit a valuation of $120 billion when it reaches the stock market. Lyft, meanwhile, is looking for a market valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion after being valued at $15 billion in its most recent private funding.
Being ahead of its larger rival allows Lyft to take advantage of pent-up investor demand for high-growth tech companies, rather than ceding available investor capital to Uber.
Uber reportedly saw $11.3 billion in revenue past year and a loss of $3.3 billion. But the company lost $US3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russian Federation and Southeast Asia.
Softbank's Vision Fund is in late stage talks to invest $US1 billion into the ride-hailing giant's self-driving auto unit, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company has burned through more than US$10 billion in its lifetime, and the development of autonomous cars accounts for a sizeable chunk.
Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi will be tasked with convincing investors that he has successfully changed the company's culture and business practices after a series of embarrassing scandals over the last two years.
The early innovation went under more noteworthy investigation a year ago after one of Uber's self-driving cars struck and killed one pedestrian in Arizona a year ago.
The investment by SoftBank and Toyota can also help the ride providing firm in establishing its value as it prepares to enter the stock market.