SoftBank dominates the global ride-sharing industry

on May9
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SoftBank has invested in major ridesharing companies: Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab in Southeast Asia, Ola in India and 99 in Brazil.

CNBC

SoftBank has invested in major ridesharing companies: Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab in Southeast Asia, Ola in India and 99 in Brazil.

In total these investments add up to almost $20 billion.

With these investments comes a lot of influence. One way of looking at is that SoftBank is brokering peace by bringing competitors together so they can share resources and technology.

But the investments also allow SoftBank to carve out regional winners through consolidation. For example, when SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested almost $8 billion in Uber, it got two board seats and the ability to implement corporate governance changes that altered Uber’s power dynamics. Following that investment, Uber retreated from Southeast Asia where it faced intense local competition from Grab. This made Grab the indisputable market leader in Southeast Asia.

The investment made SoftBank Uber’s largest investor, replacing VC firm Benchmark and co-founder Travis Kalanick. SoftBank currently has a 16.3 percent stake in Uber. When Uber goes public on Friday, SoftBank is set to be one of the biggest winners. In SoftBank’s FY 2018 results released Thursday, it reported that the value of its investment in Uber had increased by $3.8 billion (418 billion Yen).

Uber’s S-1 addresses the risk associated with SoftBank’s investments in ride-sharing competitors. Uber warms that SoftBank may choose to increase investment or make new investments or “enter into strategic transactions with competitors in the future.” That could allow those competitors to compete more effectively, Uber says.



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