SoftBank Group Corp, a prolific investor in global technology startups, reported a sharp rise in quarterly profits and said it would be interested in parking funds in ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies or Lyft Inc in the future. This is the first time Softbank has publicly indicated an interest in Uber, after having so far put funds into its rival Grab in Southeast Asia and China’s Didi Chuxing. Last month, a media report said Uber shareholders and its board were mulling a stock sale to SoftBank and other investors.
“We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft, we have not decided which way,” SoftBank’s CEO and founder Masayoshi Son said. “Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don’t know what will be the end result,” he told reporters at SoftBank’s first-quarter earnings briefing on Monday.
SoftBank said its quarterly operating profit rose 50 percent from a year ago to 479 billion yen ($4.32 billion) after it included Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, as a new reportable segment and booked a 105 billion yen gain on its stake in graphics chip maker Nvidia.
- Is SoftBank investing in Uber or Lyft – or both?