Since a company called UberCab hit the streets of San Francisco almost a decade ago, Uber has been a lot of things: a black car service with self-described “ballerinas” app; a killer of taxi companies; a scandalous stance on Silicon Valley diseases; a vehicle for the transfer of VC-funded conveyors to the masses. When it announced its second-quarter earnings on Thursday, it became clear that the hail travel company is no longer a hail company. Uber is a delivery service right now – and one that is still losing a lot of dough.
Amid a pandemic that keeps jobs, restaurants and bars closed, and potential home scammers, the classic business travel business passes, with total bookings down 75 percent year-over-year. But eaters around the world turned to food ̵1; and food distribution – while they were inside. For the first time, the company’s delivery segment generated more bookings than its travel segment. More than double, in fact. Dining bookings increased 112 percent year on year.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted in a phone call with investors Thursday that the surrender is now the size of the Uber travel business when he joined the company in 2017. “We’ve basically built a second Uber in less than three years, “he said.
Overall, the company posted a loss of $ 1.8 billion between the beginning of April and the end of June. Uber shares fell 2.5 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday night, leaving its shares 25 percent below their IPO price in May 2019.
The company has yet to make money from the food delivery sector, with DoorDash, JustEat, Deliveroo and Zomato seeking a global lead. Uber’s delivery section eventually lost $ 232 million last quarter. The company backed a possible acquisition of US company Grubhub in the spring, but last month it agreed to buy Postmates, which gives it better performance in Los Angeles and the southwestern US. Khosrowshahi said the company’s delivery business was built on larger orders from small and medium-sized restaurants, which tend to pay higher commissions than national brands like McDonald’s and Starbucks. He said he was optimistic about the industry’s long-term plans: “Clean game delivery companies can and will be profitable,” he said, although none are yet.
Uber has bigger plans for delivery space. Last year it won a majority stake in Cornershop, a rival of Instacart that delivers groceries, mostly in Latin America. Now, some Central and South American and Canadian customers can order groceries on request through the Uber app. During the pandemic, Uber launched an experiment called Uber Connect, which allows customers in 170 cities to send small packages to others by car. The company says Connect has completed 3 million trips since mid-April.