There has been a series of investment by SoftBank in ride-hailing apps outside of the U.S. in recent months, including $5 billion in China’s biggest ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, around $2 billion in Grab which is based in south-east Asia and $100 million in India’s Ola.
“We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft,” Son said to reporters during a Q&A session. “We haven’t decided which way, but U.S. is a very big market — it’s the most important market — so we are definitely very much interested in the U.S. market. Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don’t know what will be the end result.”
As far as Lyft is concerned, it is considerably smaller than Uber, but its valuation is rising and recently hit one million rides per day. So there are some potential points which can attract funding from SoftBank.
“This is the shared economy and one of the most important industries, I think the way people use the transportation and the lifestyle will be different from today as compared to in 30 years or 50 years,” Son added further.
“The autonomous car is definitely coming, and when that stage comes, this ride-share business becomes even more important,” he added.