Apr 19, 2019

Uber raises $1 billion for its self-driving unit

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Uber on Thursday night confirmed that it has raised $1 billion for its autonomous driving unit at a post-money valuation of $7.25 billion.

Why it matters: Uber is preparing to go public next month, and this deal could soothe some investor concerns about the cash-burn on self-driving R&D.

Existing Uber shareholders SoftBank Vision Fund and Toyota were joined by Japanese auto parts maker DENSO.

  • Toyota and DENSO will invest a combined $667 million, with SoftBank's Vision Fund putting in the rest.
  • The self-driving unit will form an 8-person board of directors that will be comprised of six Uber-appointed members, one from SoftBank, and one from Toyota. Its employees will continue to be compensated with Uber stock.
  • Toyota also is committing up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to deploy autonomous vehicles into the Uber's network by 2021. SoftBank last year made a similar investment into General Motors' self-driving car unit, Cruise.

Go deeper: Uber files for its long-awaited IPO

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The Humanity First push for a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Policy responses to the global coronavirus crisis have been every-country-for-itself and — in the case of the U.S. and China — tinged with geopolitics.

The flipside: The scientific work underway to understand the virus and develop a vaccine has been globalized on an unprecedented scale.

Go deeperArrow5 mins ago - World

Trump attacks Schumer for impeachment in letter about coronavirus crisis

President Trump briefs reports on April 2. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of being "missing in action" during the coronavirus crisis, writing in a scathing letter on Thursday that Schumer's focus on the "ridiculous impeachment hoax" resulted in New York being ill-prepared for the pandemic.

Why it matters: It's a blistering response to Schumer urging Trump to assign a senior military officer to enforce the Defense Production Act to produce more medical supplies.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have hit the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: The global death toll exceeded 50,000 on Thursday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported nearly 14,000 deaths. Governments around the world have introduced public health and economic measures to try and curb the impact of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - Health