Economy

Softbank CEO Says He's Looking at Investing in Both Lyft and Uber

Softbank CEO Says He's Looking at Investing in Both Lyft and Uber

Japan's SoftBank is set on making a bigger impact in the United States, seeking stakes in the leading vehicle sharing services and pushing for consolidation in telecoms and cable.

Speaking to investors following the announcement of SoftBank's Q1 2017 earnings, Son was candid about SoftBank's desire to back a horse in the USA ride-sharing space.

Rumours have circulated in recent weeks that SoftBank had taken an interest in Uber, though there had also been suggestions that such a potential investment had been dismissed.

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son said he was interested in investing in ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies and Lyft but had not made a decision. "So we are definitely very much interested in the United States market".

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SoftBank is already a lead financier for several Uber rivals, including China's Didi Chuxing, Ola in India, Grab, the dominant player in Southeast Asia, and Brazil's 99. "It's the most important market, so we are definitely very much interested".

"Sprint can grow on its own, but to truly maximize Sprint's value, we are pursuing multiple options towards consolidation", Mr. Son said at a news conference on Monday.

"Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don't know what will be the end result".

For the three months ended June 30th, SoftBank reported a 2.8 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to 2.18 trillion yen, roughly in line with the median of analysts. "And we are interested in exploring the idea and would like to discuss it with both companies". However, Son explained that he sees ride-sharing as a key global industry that Softbank can ill-afford to miss out on.


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