Uber coming of age with SoftBank tie-up
Japan Times -- Nov 14
Uber’s tie-up with SoftBank suggests the ride-hailing giant is set to come of age in the business world, but it still faces a long road ahead.

The deal is giving the world's most valuable startup an additional $1 billion in capital and could allow SoftBank to acquire as much as 14 percent of Uber over time.

While Uber has become a global phenomenon, operating in more than 600 cities and dozens of countries, it is trying to move past a series of scandals and missteps that have included executive misconduct, a toxic work atmosphere and potentially unethical competitive practices.

One step toward the future was the hiring of Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi earlier this year, which left founder Travis Kalanick in the background.

But Uber needs to clean up its governance and other practices if it intends to meet its goal of a 2019 stock market debut that will open up the privately held firm to greater scrutiny.

"The SoftBank investment suggests Uber is becoming far more mature. However momentum is against the company at the moment, so there is some risk it will be too little and too late," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, who follows Silicon Valley.

Enderle said Uber's agreement with SoftBank is "a great start, but just that, and the truly hard work is still to be done."

Under Kalanick, Uber reached an eye-popping valuation of $68 billion --- unprecedented for a private firm. But at the same time it has faced resistance from traditional taxi operators and regulators, and faces a possible ban in cities like London for failing to live up to local rules.

The deal with SoftBank is aimed at getting past the clashes between Kalanick and early investors like Benchmark Capital, which has sued the former CEO.

SoftBank is expected to buy up shares from some investors by pumping in as much as $9 billion, in a so-called tender offer to Uber stakeholders.

News source: Japan Times
Feb 23
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito turned 58 on Friday. (NHK)
Feb 23
A World Trade Organization panel has ruled in Japan's favor in a dispute over South Korea's ban on seafood imports from 8 Japanese prefectures. (NHK)
Feb 23
Aomori Prefectural Police have arrested an 18-year-old girl for allegedly killing her 2-year-old son at a residence in Mutsu City on Tuesday, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 23
A senior Japanese official has criticized South Korea for what he calls the illegal occupation of the Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan. He made the remark on Thursday at a ceremony to commemorate Japan's incorporation of the islands more than a century ago. (NHK)
Feb 23
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 21-year-old Korean national for the alleged possession of marijuana after a pursuit ended in an accident in Shibuya Ward early Wednesday, reports TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 23
Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of a male socialite over the alleged threats of a partner in a sex business last year, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 23
The health, labor and welfare division of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday broadly approved a diluted draft bill for strengthening measures against passive smoking in public places, including restaurants. (Jiji)
Feb 23
Japan's Self-Defense Force has begun surveying a lake in the northern prefecture of Aomori where a US fighter jet offloaded 2 external fuel tanks. (NHK)
Feb 23
Japanese automaker Honda has announced that its HondaJet won the most delivered jet title in its category last year. (NHK)
Feb 23
Osaka Prefectural Police have raided four so-called 'girl's bar' establishments in Osaka for licensing violations that are believed to have employed minors, reports TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)