Uber Technologies faces multiple investigations into a 2016 data breach that could complicate a potential $10 billion investment from Japan's Softbank (SFTBY) and its plans for an initial public offering in the next two years.
Uber said late Thursday that it had informed SoftBank of the October 2016 data theft, which resulted in a $100,000 payment to hackers and the alleged destruction of 57 million users' data, before it made the breach public earlier this week. That revelation has authorities around the world looking in to what the company knew and when it -- and its founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick -- knew it.
"We informed SoftBank that we were investigating a data breach, consistent with our duty to disclose to a potential investor, even though our information at the time was preliminary and incomplete," Uber said. "We also made clear that our forensic investigation was ongoing."
"Once our internal inquiry concluded and we had a more complete understanding of the facts, we disclosed to regulators and our customers in a very public way," the company added.
Data protection authorities of the European Union have said they will investigate the circumstances surrounding the breach, which included the personal details of 7 million customers, emails and telephone numbers of around 50 million and licence plate information on some 600,000 drivers.
Britain's data protection agency has also said it will probe the revelations while attorneys general in at least four U.S. states, including New York, said they had launched preliminary investigations, with which Uber has said it will cooperate.
Last week, Uber agreed to allow a group of investors led by SoftBank to invest up to $10 billion in what could be a pivotal fundraising that the company described as "a strong vote of confidence in Uber's long-term potential."
The deal will allow Softbank, as well as Dragoneer Investment Group, to pump between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in new cash into Uber and purchase as much as 17% of the company's outstanding shares on the private market. With an estimated value of around $68, billion, the agreement corresponds to about $10 billion in new investment for Uber.
The move also comes just days after new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the group was looking to go public by 2019, telling an investment conference in New York last week that while Uber has "all the disadvantages of being a public company with the spotlight being on us" it has "none of the advantages" because of its private status.
Former CEO Travis Kalanick "and the whole board now agree we should just go public. The numbers support it," Khosrowshahi said, adding that Uber is rebuilding the governance of the company as it preps for a stock market listing.
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Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 24.