SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/Getty

Early Uber investors Benchmark Capital and Menlo Ventures have said that they will sell a portion of their shares in the ride-hail giant to Japan's SoftBank Group via a well-publicized stock tender. There are no specifics on how many shares the firms might be willing to sell, nor is it certain that the deal will get done.

Bottom line: Do not underestimate how concerned VC firms are of crossing SoftBank. Not only has it become venture's largest and most aggressive player via its $98 billion Vision Fund, but it also has become a vital source of interim liquidity.

Venture capitalists obviously owe a fiduciary duty to their investors, but could rationalize selling a small percentage of Uber stock in order to maintain the possibility of SoftBank investing in other portfolio companies.

Other Uber notes:
  • New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is in a strange position. He badly wants the SoftBank deal to get done, which means he will do what is required to support the discounted valuation. At the same time, however, he has fiduciary obligations to increase the company's value. This conflict can be rationalized, but it shouldn't be ignored.
  • SoftBank got a shot in the arm yesterday when the Waymo vs. Uber trial was delayed after a mysterious letter from a former employee of the ride-hailing company surfaced. Kia has more.
  • Uber's Q3 financials are out. Gross revenue +11% over Q2 to $9.71 billion and net revenue +21% to $2.01 billion. But quarterly losses also are up 38% to $1.46 billion.

Go deeper

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Updated 40 mins ago - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A skeleton is placed at a restaurant table in Rome to protest Italy's restrictions that'll see gyms, movie theaters and pools close and bars and restaurants required to shut by 6 p.m. until at least Nov. 24. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Restrictions are returning across much of Europe as the continent faces a second coronavirus wave.

The big picture: Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cases last week, and both countries have implemented further restrictions on citizens. Italian officials announced strict new measures, effective Monday, to combat another cases spike. From Denmark to Romania, take a look at what steps countries have been taking, in photos.

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Tropical Storm Zeta may strengthen into hurricane before reaching U.S.

The U.S. Gulf Coast and Mexico are bracing for another possible hurricane after Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the Caribbean Sea Sunday.

Of note: Zeta is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season — equaling a record set in 2005.