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While the Softbank deal with Uber came to a close before the end of the year, Benchmark's lawsuit over the Kalanick's appointment of two Uber board seats was only recently dismissed. Though the case settled months ago, the settlement was contingent upon the Softbank deal successfully closing.
As part of the settlement agreement between Benchmark and Uber, both Benchmark and Kalanick were able to sell off significant stakes, which, given the critical reception of Benchmark's lawsuit and Kalanick's repeated questionable actions, seemed to be what the majority of investors wanted anyway.
Major Investor Lawsuit Results in Major Divestiture
When Benchmark filed their lawsuit against Uber and Kalanick, the industry collectively gasped in shocked. While Uber has become known for the toxic corporate culture and questionable statements of the former CEO, the company still seems to be increasing in value, and the not-publicly-traded share prices continue to creep up.
Despite the continual increase, after Benchmark "fired shots," as social media commentators would say, many investors called for Benchmark to divest its massive Uber holdings and seat on the board. As part of the settlement of their lawsuit, Uber, which has been rather tight when it comes to allowing investors to sell their stakes, allowed Benchmark to do so.
Uber Going Soft
Taking a big chunk of Benchmark's and Kalanick's interest in the company, Softbank stepped up to the plate. Softbank is a Japanese multinational telecommunications company that ranks in the top 100 largest global business, and third in Japan behind Toyota and Mitsubishi. In the recent purchase, Softbank acquired a 14% stake in Uber at a $48 billion valuation. That stake not only comes from Benchmark and Kalanick, but employees were also permitted to sell of shares in the deal.
And while Softbank may have gotten a deal on their 14% buy over the last round of funding, when Uber was valued at $69 billion, it also put in over a billion dollars at the $69 billion valuation.