While Uber has spent much of 2017 entangled in legal battles or managing negative publicity surrounding its allegedly sexist and overall toxic company culture, the company’s ride-hailing business continues to grow, albeit at a loss.
According to results shared with The Information, Uber’s gross bookings, i.e. total fares charged to Uber users before drivers get their cut, grew by 61 percent year-over-year to more than $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. As our chart illustrates, Uber’s take is much lower than that though, with actual net revenue amounting to roughly a fifth of gross bookings after drivers have taken their sizeable cut.
What may be worrying to Uber’s shareholders is the rate at which the company loses money. In the past three quarters, the market leader in the U.S. ride-hailing sector lost a whopping $3.6 billion. It’ll be interesting to see how Uber will go about stopping to hemorrhage money since the two main levers for doing so, increasing fares and lowering driver payouts, would probably do significant harm to the company’s growth prospects.
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