It may be the world’s biggest unicorn with a reported valuation at $68 billion but that doesn’t mean that Uber Technologies Inc. should go public yet. Before it lists on any exchange, the top ride-sharing company will need to stop hemorrhaging losses such as the $800 million it incurred in the third quarter, which is on top of $1.2 billion for the year, according to people familiar with the company’s results interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.
Although Uber’s gross revenue did hike up to $5.4 billion from about $5 billion in the second quarter, the company did make heavyweight investments in promotions, which included new businesses such as its self-driving car unit and food delivery through UberEats, sources told the news outlet. Also, included in this expense were cash payments Uber made to recruit new drivers into its fold.
Uber Exits China
Of course, Uber selling its China operations to mainland rival Didi Chuxing Technology Co this past summer in a deal reportedly worth $35 billion didn’t deter the company from stemming its losses. The sale was made after Uber conceded defeat in a losing battle with Didi to conquer market share. According to the terms of the deal, Uber agreed to acquire a 17.7% stake in Didi, while Didi would invest about $1 billion in Uber, reported the Journal.
As a result of the exit, Uber can now focus on other markets. In the U.S., Uber enjoys a commanding lead over rival Lyft, noted the Journal. Earlier this year reports surfaced that Lyft, valued most recently at $5.5 billion, hired Qatalyst Partners LP, an investment bank noted for helping companies find a buyer.
Ironically, Uber’s sales went up to $1.7 billion during the third quarter, an increase from $1.1 billion in the second quarter, sources told the Journal.
San Francisco Showdown
Uber’s current self-driving car trials on San Francisco streets is causing consternation among California regulators who claim Uber does not have the permit to conduct these tests, noted the news outlet. This past August, Uber acquired self-driving truck startup Otto and announced it had established a $300 million alliance with Volvo Car Group to develop self-driving cars, reported Reuters.
Whether Uber will be able to bounce back from its third quarter losses to attract the investors it’ll need to successfully launch an IPO remains to be seen.
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