April 19 (UPI) -- Uber's self-driving vehicle unit has received a $1 billion investment from three Japanese companies a few weeks before its initial public offering, the ride-hailing firm said.
Toyota, auto parts manufacturer DENSO and Japanese-Saudi venture capital group SoftBank will invest in Uber's autonomous driving division, the Advanced Technologies Group, officials said Thursday. The group will be regarded as a new entity at Uber. The investment increases the value of the ATG, which develops automated ride-sharing services around the world, to $7.25 billion.
Under the terms, Toyota and DENSO will provide $667 million and SoftBank, Uber's largest shareholder, $333 million. Toyota invested $500 million last August when a plan to develop automated Toyota Sienna vehicles was announced. The investing companies will receive seats on the ATG board and Toyota said it'll invest another $300 million over the next three years.
The infusion of funding comes ahead of Uber's planned initial public offering next month, which is expected to be worth up to $100 billion. Uber began the IPO process with a public filing last week of its prospectus. Competitor Lyft had its IPO last month and has struggled to attract investors, who are concerned with the company's smaller size in the ride-share business and heavy losses.
Uber's new investments, announced at its San Francisco headquarters at a signing ceremony, gives the company fresh capital to develop self-driving technologies.
"The team at Uber ATG has made significant progress developing highly robust automated ride-sharing technology," said Softbank CEO Rajeev Misra, SoftBank. "This collaboration is well-positioned to deploy automated ride-sharing services at scale."