Owning a car means having the freedom to venture at your own pace… it also means a great deal of expenses, and surprisingly a study found that it might be cheaper to Uber in these major cities than to own a car. Buzz60's Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more.
Uber wants to be more than your first choice for a ride-sharing service: It wants to infiltrate your life, just as Amazon does.
The ride-hailing company, now nine years old, is generating revenue growth, and reinvesting that into a variety of expansive ventures – from scooters and bikes to flying taxis.
Uber generated $2.8 billion in revenue last quarter, up 63 percent from the same period a year ago when revenue was about $1.7 billion. The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $891 million, down about 16 percent from its $1.06 billion second-quarter loss a year ago.
Spending is a sign of growth and ambition for expanding tech companies – think Netflix and Amazon. Last year, Netflix generated $11.7 billion in revenue, with net income of $558.9 million, as it spent billions on movie and TV content, and marketing in its global expansion.
Similarly, Amazon had $178 billion in revenue in 2017 with profit of $2.4 billion, and the online retailing giant fueled its expansive ventures $13.7 billion alone on its acquisition of Whole Foods and is now expanding into health care.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has similar ambitions. Last month, Uber invested in electric scooter company Lime and in April acquired bike-sharing service Jump, which has more than 12,000 bicycles in 40 cities across six countries in 2017.
The company had also been experimenting with self-driving delivery trucks before shutting it down last month to focus on self-driving vehicles. Uber has restarted its autonomous vehicle trials in Pittsburgh. They were halted in the wake of an fatal accident in March in which one of its Volvo SUVs equipped with autonomous sensors failed to detect a pedestrian – and the Volvo's safety driver failed to react in time – and hit and killed the person.
With an IPO planned for 2019, the company will continue to expand, Khosrowshahi said. "Going forward, we’re deliberately investing in the future of our platform: Big bets like Uber Eats; congestion and environmentally friendly modes of transport like Express Pool, e-bikes and scooters; emerging businesses like Freight; and high-potential markets in the Middle East and India where we are cementing our leadership position,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement to Recode.
In May, the company announced it secured deals with government, aviation and hotel operators for a futuristic UberAir service it hopes to demonstrate in 2020.
In preparation for the IPO, Uber has also been in reparation mode to salve damages from revelations about sexual harassment at the company, a data breach of information involving nearly 60 million customers and drivers, and its use of software to thwart city regulators.
And last week, New York City’s mayor signed a bill imposing a one-year freeze on new licenses for ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft, and another bill would require the setting of a minimum wage for drivers.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Uber hopes to launch flying car service by 2020. A previous version of this video incorrectly stated the capabilities of UberAir's flying cars.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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