Uber loss leapt in 2017 as fi­nal quar­ter showed hope

Kuwait Times - - Technology -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Ride-share ti­tan Uber on Tues­day revealed that its losses last year swelled de­spite signs in the fi­nal three months that it was stem­ming the red ink. Fig­ures re­ported by The In­for­ma­tion and con­firmed by AFP showed that Uber’s losses in 2017 grew to $4.5 bil­lion from the $2.8 bil­lion the San Fran­cis­cobased firm lost a year ear­lier. How­ever, Uber lost $1.1 bil­lion in the fi­nal quar­ter of 2017 as com­pared with $1.46 bil­lion in the pre­ceed­ing quar­ter as rev­enue rose.

Net rev­enue grew to $2.22 bil­lion from $1.38 bil­lion in the same quar­ter-over-quar­ter com­par­i­son. Uber re­mains a pri­vate com­pany, but rou­tinely dis­closes some earn­ings in­for­ma­tion. Freshly en­sconced chief ex­ec­u­tive Dara Khos­row­shahi is steer­ing the high-value startup to a stock mar­ket de­but next year. Khos­row­shahi be­gan reign­ing in costs after he took over as Uber chief late last year, re­plac­ing ousted co­founder Travis Kalan­ick.

Waymo and Uber last week an­nounced a set­tle­ment in a block­buster law­suit over al­legedly stolen trade se­crets from the for­mer Google self-driv­ing car pro­ject. The sur­prise agree­ment ended an im­age-bruis­ing trial be­tween the two Sil­i­con Val­ley ri­vals com­pet­ing in a race to de­velop au­ton­o­mous cars, after four days of tes­ti­mony be­fore a fed­eral judge in San Fran­cisco. A source fa­mil­iar with the con­fi­den­tial deal said Uber agreed to a fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment giv­ing the Al­pha­bet unit 0.34 per­cent of Uber shares-which would be some $244 mil­lion based on Uber’s valu­a­tion of $72 bil­lion.

Uber also agreed not to use any of Waymo’s tech­nol­ogy for au­ton­o­mous driv­ing as part of the set­tle­ment, which was ap­proved by Judge Wil­liam Al­sup as he dis­missed the case. SoftBank re­cently took a 15 per­cent stake in Uber by ac­quir­ing shares from early in­vestors at a dis­counted price, ac­cord­ing to a source fa­mil­iar with the terms of the deal. The in­vest­ment was part of an effort by Uber to move past a se­ries of scan­dals and mis­steps and re­form its board struc­ture as it gears up for a 2019 pub­lic share of­fer­ing. Khos­row­shahi has vowed to fix the com­pany’s work cul­ture and busi­ness prac­tices. Even as Uber has seen un­prece­dented growth by ex­pand­ing to dozens of coun­tries, it has been hurt by mis­steps in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions of ex­ec­u­tive mis­con­duct, a toxic work at­mos­phere and po­ten­tially un­eth­i­cal com­pet­i­tive prac­tices. —

AFP

PRAGUE: Prague’s taxi driv­ers are seen in front of their cabs dur­ing a protest against un­fair com­pe­ti­tion of the ri­val trans­port plat­form Uber. —

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