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Uber's Advanced Technologies Group is leading the ride-hailing company's efforts to develop its own self-driving technology, putting it in competition with Google spin-off Waymo and General Motors' Cruise. Reuters reported Uber will release its S-1 and launch an investor roadshow next month. Those events will set in motion the Wall Street debut of one of Silicon Valley's most closely watched companies.

SoftBank and Uber declined to comment.

But the close proximity of the two IPOs could test the public market's appetite for ride-sharing investments.

The investment talks come as Uber is racing towards a public listing, with an IPO expected in the coming months. Lyft, meanwhile, is looking for a market valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion after being valued at $15 billion in its most recent private funding. Lyft, by contrast, said in its prospectus that its 2018 revenue totaled $2.2 billion and a loss of $911 million, which according to Axios would be the largest loss ever for a company entering the public markets for the first time.

Being ahead of its larger rival allows Lyft to take advantage of pent-up investor demand for high-growth tech companies, rather than ceding available investor capital to Uber.

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However, in going out so close together, the companies risk testing the limits of investors' interest in ride-sharing.

After losing about $3.3 billion a year ago, Uber is hoping to bring a change in the automobile industry by introducing self-driven cars. But the company lost $3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russian Federation and Southeast Asia.

Lyft's revenue for past year was $US2.2 billion, with $US8.1 billion in gross ride bookings. But its autonomous unit, formed in 2014, loses between $100 million and $200 million each quarter. The former previously invested in Uber and in 2018 made a $2.25 billion investment in General Motors' self-driving vehicle division.

The investment by SoftBank and Toyota can also help the ride providing firm in establishing its value as it prepares to enter the stock market.


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