Assessing Why Uber is Facing Financial Losses

Assessing Why Uber is Facing Financial Losses


Uber is a massive corporation. Coming out of nowhere, it helped rewrite the rules governing intra-city transportation. Like Lyft in the United States, the startup has etched itself and its ridesharing business model into the culture.

However, while Uber is well-known for its rapid development, massive sales, and massive financing, many people are unaware that the company has lost money. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of it. So much so that the date of its IPO is uncertain, its final worth is unknown, and there have been nagging doubts about Uber’s ability to earn money.

Uber’s comeback from the pandemic slump continues, but it suffers a $5.6 billion investment loss. Revenue increased 136 percent in the first three months of 2022 as travel recovered. As a result, Uber is experiencing financial losses. After all, the corporation is well-known for its asset-lightness. That is, Uber’s non-employee drivers own their cars, pay for their petrol, and cover most of their insurance expenses.

Uber-Related Information

IndustryTransportation, Mobility As A Service
FoundedMarch 2009, 13 Years Ago
FoundersGarret Camp Travis Kalanick
Headquarters72 Countries Approximately
ProductMobile App, Website

Uber’s Most Notable Losses

Since the pandemic caused a surge in consumers ordering takeout, quarterly revenue at Uber’s rides segment nearly quadrupled year over year to $2.5 billion (approximately Rs. 19,066 crores), surpassing the amount generated by its food-delivery service for the first time. Uber, meanwhile, reported a net loss of $5.9 billion despite its overall revenue being more than tripling compared to the same time in 2017. (roughly Rs. 44,983 crore).

  • Uber’s adjusted EBITDA (a loose profit figure that excludes all costs) for the second quarter of 2018 was -$614 million.
  • Uber’s non-GAAP earnings for the second quarter of 2018 were -$870 million (the company’s net loss excluding the share-based compensation expense).
  • Uber’s net loss for the second quarter of 2018 was -$891 million (the company’s profit or loss after deducting all expenditures).
  • In Uber’s situation, the more stringent the profit criteria (the more costs the profit metric considers), the more significant the quarterly loss. That makes perfect sense.

Undergoing Losses As A Result Of Covid Pandemic

Despite being the most popular ride-hailing service in the world and valued at over $80 billion, Uber has never made a profit. The business has now reported its largest-ever quarterly loss, a startling $5.24 billion in the three months ending in June. The company’s shares have dropped 10% due to this revelation and its slowest-ever sales increase in the same quarter.

Uber is up against fierce competition from around the world in both the ridesharing and food delivery markets. Investors should remember that the economic environment continues to be a hurdle for Uber. Uber’s revenue continued to fall in the first quarter of 2021, following a downward trend in 2020. Income in the first quarter was $2.9 billion, down 11% year on year from 2020, indicating a fall in Uber’s transportation sector and a rise in food delivery.

In the United States, 49 percent of individuals are completely vaccinated, and the work is ongoing. However, the virus remains a menace to the economy, with the new delta prompting COVID-19 instances to resurface across the country. Uber may continue to be impacted as long as the pandemic continues.

Uber’s Driver Charges Are Prohibitively Expensive

In its financial accounts, Uber defines driver payments as a “cost of revenue.” Uber spends 46 percent of its overall annual income on these expenditures, resulting in financial losses. Uber’s operating margins were negative 29 percent, unfavorable 66 percent, and negative 44 percent from 2018 to 2020. Legislators are debating whether rideshare drivers should be recognized as employees rather than contract workers.

California Assembly Bill 5 was legislation that nearly made that happen in 2019, but a voter-approved Proposition 22 exempted gig firms in 2020. U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has also shown support for providing employee benefits to drivers. Uber and Lyft have aggressively resisted because of the substantial financial impact on their operations. If rules tighten over time, Uber’s driver expenses might skyrocket.

Purchasing a car and keeping it in excellent order is an expensive endeavor. According to the study, the median gross driver revenue is $0.59 per mile, whereas the median driver profit is $0.29 per mile. Taxes are also discussed in the text. In addition, Uber’s driver-partners are not compensated for driving expenditures such as gasoline, depreciation, or insurance. However, hired drivers covered by OES data may not be required to bear such costs.

The Investing Strategy Of Uber

Uber established a branch within the firm in 2015 to research self-driving technology. Still, it abandoned it in 2020 when it sold the division to technology startup Aurora in a $4 billion stock agreement. Uber is now collaborating with Aurora, investing $400 million and acquiring a 26% share in the firm. Uber spent more than a billion dollars on self-driving research before shifting its approach to focus on building its primary business.

On Uber’s balance sheet, the entire value of these holdings is $12.9 billion, or 14.4 percent of Uber’s market cap. It excludes genuine Uber acquisitions, such as the $1.1 billion purchase of alcohol delivery firm Drizly, the $2.65 billion purchase of rapid delivery service Postmates, and the $2.25 billion purchase of logistics software company Transplace.

Uber is investing in direct and indirect ownership in prospective competitors, which will help it stay ahead of the competition. It is yet to be viewed from the point this tactic will enable the company to turn a profit. Uber’s driver fees remain a financial problem that investors should keep an eye on.


Uber’s company may experience a spike once the pandemic passes and ridesharing activity resumes, but investors should consider the high driver expenses that lead Uber to lose so much money. Uber has lost more than $18 billion in operational losses since 2018, despite generating $37 billion in revenue.

This enormous disparity between the top and bottom lines may pose a long-term problem for the organization. Although it is too early to make judgments about Uber, there are occasions when excellent customer service is a bad business for investors. If Uber does not achieve profitability over the next several years, investors may opt to go elsewhere.

Why is Uber losing money?

●        Uber reported a net loss of $5.9 billion owing to unrealized losses from holdings in Didi Global, Grab Holdings, and Aurora Innovation but provided the expectation of a reasonable profit for the current quarter.

Is Uber going to make money?

●        According to the 40 industry experts that track Uber Technologies, breakeven is close.

Is Uber still owed money?

●        Uber Technologies had US$7.83 billion in debt in June 2021, almost the same as the previous year.

Is Uber going bankrupt?

●        However, Uber is on the verge of bankruptcy. According to a genuine accounting of the past quarter, Uber lost 38 cents on every dollar it received. Moreover, $3.7 billion of its assets are worthless paper from bankrupt international ridesharing firms.

What does the future hold for Uber?

●        Uber is expected to develop rapidly in the next few years. Revenue is predicted to grow 44.5 percent in 2021 and 39.9 percent in 2022.


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