Investors could pump $1bn into Uber self-driving cars

SoftBank, Toyota in talks to invest $1B in Uber's self-driving unit: Report

Uber's initial public offering is said to to be one of the biggest of the year, at a $120 billion valuation, a major jump from its current valuation at $72 billion. Uber and SoftBank declined to comment. For SoftBank, the cash injection protects the much-larger investments it's already made in the company-in December 2017, it purchased a 15 per cent stake in Uber for US$7 billion at a US$48-billion valuation.

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. Reuters said some analysts expect its market cap to be closer to $100 billion based on the company's recent financials.

The investment talks come as Uber is racing towards a public listing, with an IPO expected in the coming months.

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, which a year ago lost about $3.3 billion, is wagering on a progress to self-driving vehicles to dispose of the need to pay drivers. But the company lost $3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russian Federation and Southeast Asia.

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Investors including Japanese technology giant Softbank are closing in on a deal to invest up to $1bn (£750m) in Uber's self-driving auto business.

Lyft's revenue for previous year was $2.2 billion, with $8.1 billion in gross ride bookings. The company has burned through more than US$10 billion in its lifetime, and the development of autonomous cars accounts for a sizeable chunk.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber, has previously said a culture change is a work in progress.

The deal would value the self-driving auto portion of Uber as a business worth $US5 billion to $US10 billion.

It could also help underscore Uber's value as the ride-hailing firm prepares for a stock market debut.

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