Uber sells 15% stake to SoftBank

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The investor group is also buying about $1.25bn worth of new shares at a price that values the firm at nearly $70bn, a significantly higher price that is similar to what Uber shares fetched in its last fundraising round.

The deal nevertheless sharply discounts Uber's value, which a year ago was estimated at nearly $70 billion.

Softbank led a consortium that reportedly agreed to invest at least $8bn for a roughly 15% stake in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company.

Benchmark, in return, agreed to put on hold its lawsuit against Kalanick over his control of the three board seats, with plans to drop the case if and when the SoftBank deal closes.

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An Uber spokesman confirmed the $48 billion valuation in an emailed statement.

Uber closed a multibillion dollar deal led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank on Thursday, allowing some of the company's largest shareholders to divest.

SoftBank's purchase marks CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's first major deal since taking the reins of the embattled company from Travis Kalanick after a year of repeated public relations debacles and unforced errors.

Uber said it would use the investment "to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance". The deal requires adding additional, independent board members and eliminates "super-voting shares", a mechanism that gave outsize voting power and influence to a small group of directors on the board, including Mr. Kalanick. "The price is less important than locking in the governance changes and securing the support of the world's most powerful technology investor", said Erik Gordon an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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Uber and SoftBank announced a deal Thursday allowing the Japanese tech titan to take a large stake in the United States ridesharing giant, making a hefty cut in the valuation of the biggest venture-backed startup.

SoftBank and its partners offered to buy shares from Uber employees and existing investors at $33 a share, according to Recode. Misra said SoftBank had "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees". However some Uber investors were concerned the price SoftBank was offering was too low, according to Recode.

SoftBank has previously pumped billions into several ride-hailing companies overseas, including Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia and 99 in Brazil.

The source said SoftBank's total investment in Uber will amount to $7.7 billion including a $1 billion infusion announced earlier this year.

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