With today’s technology, the concept of ordering a car to take you anywhere is ordinary. But, according to Arianna Huffington, the ride-hailing empire Uber is set to sign a deal with Softbank, a company from Japan that has recently been making waves with investing in startup companies.
As described by Investopedia, Softbank was originally founded as a telecommunications company and is currently dipping its toes into different areas such as marketing and technology. Masayoshi Son is looking to invest a whopping $10 billion, CNBC reports.
Founded by Masayoshi Son, Softbank got its start in Tokyo, Japan. According to Funding Universe, the company owns over 400 Internet companies and holdings like Yahoo! Inc., Nasdeq Japan Inc., and Aozora Bank Ltd.
Arianna Huffington is a force to be reckoned with. Started as the co-founder and Editor in Chief for The Huffington Post, Huffington went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for her work. The award-winning mogul is also the author of 15 novels, including “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time” and “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.” As of April 2016, she has been serving as a board member for Uber.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s technology conference in California, Huffington commented, “Having them [Softbank] on your cap table is very important when they’re also investing in so many of our competitors around the world.”
This Softbank investment shows how deeply Uber is immersed in today’s culture. Uber has been creating jobs left and right, making it so much simpler to hitch a ride to the airport and ensuring group trips remain safe and fun.
Uber made its way onto the scene back in 2009 with co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. Now, Camp is also the co-founder of StumbleUpon, a web search engine; Kalanick is Red Swoosh, another peer-to-peer file-sharing company.
As of 2017, Uber has faced allegations against Kalanick of numerous scandals, forcing the co-founder to step down from his CEO position. In late August, the position was taken over by Dara Khosrowshahi, the now-former CEO of Expedia. Khosrowshahi was the head of Expedia for 12 years and is credited with making it one of the biggest travel sites and growing annual revenue by six billion dollars.
Huffington also talked about Kalanick: “The problem was this worship at the altar of hyper-growth, which means you forget to build the culture. Culture, we are now recognizing, is the immune system of a company. We are recognizing that what happens in the culture is contributing to the bottom line.”
Khosrowshahi taking over Kalanick’s role seemed to be an unexpected choice to some, but his acclaimed background in business and technology proves his aptitude for the role.
With a new CEO on Uber’s hand, Softbank’s investment could be just what the company needs. Forbes reports that Softbank is also looking at investing in 14-20 percent of the company’s current shares. This rise would help contribute to Uber’s current $70 billion net worth.
In this new age of technology, an Uber and a Softbank partnership show promise of growing the transportation app even further than before. The addition of Softbank to Uber would help the company become even more powerful and reinstate its name after all of the recent leadership changes. Watching how Khosrowshahi handles taking over Uber and securing this deal in the last month shows lots of promise for the company.
This could be considered a new beginning for Uber. We can only imagine how long it will take before Uber becomes a global powerhouse.