SoftBank has been investing in quite a number of companies recently through its Vision Fund, and it looks like Uber could be next. According to The Wall Street Journal, SoftBank could be looking for a multibillion-dollar stake in the ride-sharing company. Currently, there's very little details about this, seeing as the deal hasn't been finalized between the two companies just yet, but Uber is said to be worth somewhere around $28 billion, so that would give SoftBank a pretty large stake in the company.
The Japanese company has been investing in ride-sharing companies quite a bit recently. These include Didi Chuxing, which is a popular one in China – in fact Uber recently sold its Chinese business to Didi Chuxing. SoftBank has also recently bought a stake in GrabTaxi, which is a hugely popular ride-sharing company in Singapore. So if this deal does happen, it wouldn't be a case of SoftBank choosing one ride-sharing company over another, but choosing the most popular one in the western part of the world, since it does have a stake in both Didi Chuxing and GrabTaxi. Recently, GrabTaxi has been raising around $2.5 million from various sources so it could continue to bolster its business and remain the top dog in Singapore.
Now the report out of The Wall Street Journal does also state that SoftBank and Uber were in preliminary talks, so there's a very good chance that these things could change or even not work out. But anything official is still quite a ways off, since Uber cannot do anything here without having a new CEO installed, after Travis Kalanick resigned last month from that role, amid turmoil. And it's said that getting a new CEO for Uber is still quite a few weeks off. So it's very likely that there won't be much happening between SoftBank and Uber in the near future, but perhaps before the end of the year, if Uber is able to get a new CEO in a decent amount of time. There's talk of a number of well-qualified candidates being in line for the job, including Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, who left the company once the Verizon acquisition was finished.