Three weeks ago, Benchmark partners Matt Cohler and Peter Fenton flew into Sun Valley, Idaho for a private meeting with Masayoshi Son of SoftBank, according to three people told about it. On the outskirts of the annual Allen & Co. media confab, the group tried to hammer out a deal for SoftBank to buy shares in Uber from existing investors including Benchmark. That proposed deal has become the latest source of tension at Uber.
The transaction on the table around that time: SoftBank would purchase Uber shares from existing shareholders at a price that would value the company between $40 billion ($27 to $28 a share) and $45 billion ($31 to $32 a share). Additionally, SoftBank would invest $1 billion at the latest preferred valuation of around $70 billion and get some board seats.