Published: Sun, August 27, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Uber's net loss declines as ride bookings grow

Uber's net loss declines as ride bookings grow

Uber, which for months has been operating without a CEO following Travis Kalanick's unceremonious exit, is considering former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, with a deal possibly in place as early as Labor Day, according to multiple reports.

U.S. auto hailing giant Uber reported on Wednesday that its gross bookings rose 17 per cent to US$8.7 billion in the second quarter, as the company was still under the shadow of series of scandals earlier this year, China's Xinhua news agency reported. The company also narrowed losses by 9 percent, to $645 million.

The revenue gain was driven by the number of global trips taken, climbing 150 percent over the past year, with the 250 percent in emerging markets leading growth, followed by a 90 percent increase in developed markets.

The Benchmark lawsuit filed in a DE court accused Kalanick of fraud, breach of contract and of plotting to manipulate the board of directors to allow him to return as CEO following his resignation in June. "Benchmark's shameful tactics and unfounded claims punish Uber, its employees and its investors at a critical time when the company most needs stability and leadership".

Some investors have eyed Uber's $68 billion valuation with skepticism, and recently four mutual fund investors marked down the value of their Uber shares by as much as 15 percent.

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A response last week to a lawsuit filed by early Uber investor Benchmark Capital said the litigation was part of a "shameful" effort to remove Kalanick from any role at the ridesharing giant. Uber is still on the process of finding its new CEO.

Meanwhile, Uber drivers have earned US$50 million in tips since a gratuity option was added to the ride-sharing application in June.

The figures include Uber's Russian business. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company's net loss was recorded at $708 million. Currently, the company has $6.6 billion in the bank, down from roughly $7.2 billion in the first quarter.

Uber said its gross ride bookings for the second quarter reached $8.7 billion, up from $7.5 billion in the first quarter. Its head of finance, Gautam Gupta, left Uber this year for the startup OpenDoor.

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