Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is driving forward with new investments.
Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) is investing $500 million in Uber Technologies Inc., the company said in a press release Monday evening. The Wall Street Journal first reported the investment.
The two companies will work jointly on "driverless-vehicle development", the release said.
"Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility," said Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company. "This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company as we help provide a path for safe and secure expansion of mobility services like ride-sharing that includes Toyota vehicles and technologies."
Added Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, "The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network."
The investment brings Uber's valuation reportedly to about $72 billion, which is well above previous estimates. Uber had raised capital from Altimeter Capital Management, Coatue Management LLC and TPG that reportedly valued the company at $62 billion, and that also surpassed the $48 billion valuation from Softbank Corp.'s December 2017 investment.
Uber did not immediately respond to TheStreet's request for comment, nor did Toyota.
Toyota in 2016 made an investment in Uber of an unknown amount when it agreed to explore collaboration "in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding."
"Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility," Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior managing officer of Toyota, said in 2016. "Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers."
The ride-hailing company is contemplating a public offering, and Khosrowshahi, who took over last year after founder Travis Kalanick resigned amid controversy about a sexist culture and other workplace issues, recently hired Nelson Chai as its Chief Financial Officer.
The ride-sharing outfit is "trying to look respectable for Wall Street for the IPO," 451 Research analyst Christian Renaud told TheStreet earlier this month.