SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son says he’s interested in investing in both Uber Technologies and Lyft but hasn’t made a decision about which one to favor.
“We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft, we have not decided which way,” Reuters quoted him as telling reporters and analysts on Monday. after the company announced its quarterly results.
“Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don’t know what will be the end result.”
Softbank has been investing aggressively in ride-hailing outside the U.S. in recent months. Most notably it threw $5 billion at Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-hailing firm in China in May. But it has also led funding rounds this year for Grab, the leading ride-hailing firm in south-east Asia, and Indian market leader Ola.
What Softbank doesn’t have, yet, is a real presence in the U.S. market. It was absent from Lyft’s latest funding round that raised $600 million in April. In July, The Wall Street Journal had reported in July that the Japanese investment house had approached Uber about taking a multibillion-dollar stake, but also said that the talks were preliminary, and that nothing is expected to happen until Uber names a chief executive officer.
Uber has reportedly boiled down its CEO hunt to three candidates, all of them male, after approaches to least five female candidates including Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Wojcicki, Mary Barra and Meg Whitman, led to nothing.