This Sunday, the Board of Directors of Uber has reached a new agreement.
As a result of this agreement, we will see SoftBank making a multibillion-dollar investment in the ride-hailing startup. It also resolves the long legal battle between Travis Kalanick, Uber co-founder and former CEO and Benchmark Capital, one of the early investors of the startup. Benchmark Capital reportedly owns about 13% of Uber. Back in August, they accused Kalanick of misleading the stockholders of Uber in order to gain control of three board seats. They decided to sue Kalanick.
An Uber representative was quoted over the issue, “We’ve entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment. We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber’s long-term potential. Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and abroad, while strengthening our corporate governance.”
It’s been only a month since Uber’s board voted to eliminate its super-voting structure. In this previous voting structure, early shareholders had 10 times the voting power to a one vote per share model. The board also voted for the expansion of the number of board members. There are 17 board members now, after the inclusion of 6 seats by Kalanick in September.
Uber’s board also gave approval for the sale of $10 billion of stock to the Japanese internet giant SoftBank. Board member Arianna Huffington said in October that “SoftBank has a plan to acquire a 14% to 20% stake in the world’s most valuable privately-held tech startup.”
It’s been a year with tremendous ups and downs for Uber. There’s been a number of scandals including allegations of sexual harassment against more than 20 Uber employees who were fired eventually. The company is accused of using a secretive tool called Greyball in order to avoid the local authorities. The company is currently fighting against Waymo’s trade-secret theft lawsuit. Waymo is a self-driving car business run by Google’s parent company Alphabet.
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