Uber has a suitor.
SoftBank is getting aggressive.
On Monday, the Japanese tech giant announced its $2 billion investment alongside Didi Chuxing in Grab, a ride-hailing app based in Singapore. Grab is Uber’s largest rival in Southeast Asia.
Now, SoftBank wants to go after Uber itself.
According to the Wall Street Journal, SoftBank has approached Uber about taking a multibillion-dollar stake in the company. The talks are said to be preliminary, and nothing is expected to happen until Uber names a chief executive officer.
SoftBank already commands a pretty significant share of the ride-hailing market in Asia. In addition to its most recent investment in Grab, it also owns stakes in ride-sharing companies Ola and Didi Chuxing.
Uber and SoftBank did not immediately respond for comment.
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Uber, which has had a hard time overtaking its competitors overseas, ended a subsidy war in Moscow earlier this month. The ride-hailing giant pulled back in its global expansion efforts by striking a deal with Yandex, the “Google of Russia.” Yandex and Uber agreed to merge their ride-sharing businesses in Russia and five neighboring markets with Yandex as leading partner.
A deal with SoftBank could, as the WSJ notes, merge Uber’s operations with other ride-hailing companies and strengthen SoftBank’s foothold in the Asian market.