Ride-hailing Giant Uber Files for IPO, Says 'May Never Make Profits'

Uber narrows losses growth slows on the road to IPO

Uber Admits It May Never Be Profitable JUSTIN SULLIVAN GettyLUCAS NOLAN12 Apr 2019

Uber Eats' revenue surpassed $1.4 billion in 2018, just three years after it began operations, according to an SEC filing. Its take rate, or its share of transactions, declined to 10% a year ago compared to 12% in 2017 due to an increase in restaurants having lower average basket sizes on its platform, an expansion into new regions and increased incentives for drivers, according to the SEC filing.

Uber had not revealed the recent user numbers before, and the figure shows the scale of the business. The San Francisco-based company also counts its Canada business with the U.S. market.

Among other things, Uber revealed the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into a yearlong cover-up of a massive computer break-in during 2016 that heisted personal information belonging to millions of passengers and drivers. The unveiling comes four months after Uber took its first step toward its first public offering with a filing.

His notice of optimism and contrition struck in a letter contained in the national documents.

Analysts have warned that Uber and Lyft face a hard road to profitability amid challenges from regulators and established taxi operators around the world.

Uber said in its filing that rehabilitating the company's image will require a change to its corporate culture. The balance is likely owned by the team that made up the Otto, the self-driviing truck business that Uber acquired. A net profit was reported for the year from a large asset sale, but operational losses were more than $3 billion.

"They're showing that they're capable of controlling their costs, which has been a concern of ride sharing companies in general", said SharesPost analyst Alejandro Ortiz. "That is an indication that'll be looked on positively in the upcoming few weeks".

The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission contained no specific pricing or timing for the market debut for Uber, which according to media reports was expected to raise some $10 billion. Lyft's inventory now is currently hovering around $61down from its IPO price of $72.

The start may have prompted Uber to tamp down its IPO aspirations. Reuters reported this week that Uber plans to sell around $10 billion worth of stock at a valuation of between $90 billion and $100 billion. That's below earlier estimates of $120 billion.

Although Uber has not announced its official price range per share, the company has already raised nearly $20bn in investment rounds, totaling Uber's valuation at nearly $120bn. Uber applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "UBER".

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There has been much excitement over the potential of unicorn businesses, those privately owned tech startup companies valued at more than $1 billion.

Uber launched a black auto service in which clients are able to hail professional motorists with a couple of taps on a smartphone, as UberCab in 2009. It shortened its title in 2010 to Uber, distancing itself in the taxicab industry, which has been criticized the company for facing regulation compared to the cab industry.

The company operates in 65 countries and has completed 10 billion trips worldwide. Uber thinks dockless e-bikes and scooters could drastically reduce passenger vehicle trips under three miles, but also acknowledges that it wields little control over the complex supply chain associated with bikes and scooters. Its fast-growing food delivery business, which spans 500 cities globally, doubled its revenue to $757 million in 2018 from $367 million in 2017.

But Uber faces challenges that Lyft doesn't because of a series of revelations that sullied its reputation. The setbacks have contained uncontrolled sexual harassment and allegations it destroys self-driving vehicle technology.

The blowback in the problems assisted Lyft pickup soil in the US and contributed to the ouster of both Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick CEO in 2017.

Kalanick is one of Uber's largest shareholders, owning almost 9% of the company's stock.

Uber also flagged a risk related to the increasing dissatisfaction among drivers due to reducing incentives and its autonomous vehicle strategy.

Uber said its revenue has risen by more than ten-fold since 2014.

But it suspended testing when one of its self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago. The company resumed testing self-driving automobiles.

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