Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Uber Technologies Inc Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Uber Technologies Inc RSS feed en Sun, 21 Jul 2019 03:33:21 -0400 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Bolt aims to shock Uber with London launch ]]> Ride-hailing firm Bolt launched in London on Tuesday in a direct challenge to Uber Technologies Inc’s (NYSE:UBER) dominance in the UK capital.

Formerly known as Taxify, Estonia-based Bolt currently operates in 30 countries across Europe on Africa and serves around 25mln customers.

READ: RBC initiates Uber at ‘outperform’, says profit potential underappreciated by the market

It also has some serious financial backers including German car giant Daimler, which led a US$175mln funding round last year that valued the company at US$1bn, granting it ‘unicorn’ status.

Aside from taxi services, the company also operates electronic scooters, motorcycles and food delivery in some of its markets.

The company has presented itself as not only a cheaper but fairer operator compared to its rivals, taking 15% commission from fares as opposed to Uber which takes 25%.

The firm is also touting its in-app panic button which will allow both passengers and drivers to contact police services directly if needed.

Bolt said that it would offer customers in London a 50% discount on fares during an initial promotion period, adding that users would save on average between 5% and 10% on trips thereafter.

“Across the globe, we’ve seen the positive effects that lower prices for passengers and better working conditions for drivers can have on communities. We’re committed to bringing our customer-focused approach to London and give people the chance to get behind a European brand”, said Markus Villig, Bolt’s founder and chief executive.

Bolt’s launch aims to take on Uber in its largest European market, where up until now it has not had a serious competitor but has struggled with several court challenges to its ability to operate in the city.

READ: Uber London can keep licence, rules High Court

Earlier this year the ride-hailing giant managed to fight off a legal challenge from a consortium of ‘black cab’ drivers who had challenged a decision to grant a 15-month operating licence to Uber after it was previously refused one by Transport for London.

The emergence of a new competitor will also provide an additional headache for Uber as it seeks to recover from a disappointing flop at its initial public offering (IPO) last month, with its shares as of the close in New York on Monday still trading below their float price of US$45 each.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 10:58:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - RBC initiates Uber at ‘outperform’, says profit potential underappreciated by the market ]]> Ride hailing and food delivery giant Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) is having its profit potential underappreciated by the market according to analysts at RBC, who on Tuesday initiated the stock with an ‘outperform’ rating and a target price of US$62.

In a note, the Canadian bank said the company, which flopped on its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange last month, had a dominant position in the global ridesharing and takeaway delivery markets which had helped it generate “unusual” levels of scale and growth.

READ: Uber posts US$1bn loss in first set of results since disappointing flotation

While there was controversy around the company’s profit potential, mainly due to an expected US$4bn loss (LBITDA) for its 2019 financial year, RBC said the company could achieve profitability through its long-term pricing power, a reduction in driver and rider incentives as competition reduces, and using scale to leverage insurance costs and reduce other operating expenses.

“Uber’s current losses are clearly very sizeable, and we expect the company’s losses to remain very high (EBITDA losses of US$3bn+) for the next two years before beginning to improve in 2021.”

“While it is rare to see companies go public with losses of this magnitude, we believe there is some evidence of leverage in the model supporting a potential path to profitability”, RBC said.

Analysts also said they saw “significant option value” for the company in new businesses such as freight.

In pre-market trading in New York on Tuesday, Uber shares were 0.4% lower at US$41.10, a 34% discount to RBC's target price.

Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:20:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber posts US$1bn loss in first set of results since disappointing flotation ]]> Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) has reported a US$1bn loss in the taxi app’s first set of results since a disappointing stock market debut earlier this month.

The loss for the first quarter came despite a 20% rise in revenue to US$3.1bn and an increase in monthly active users to 83mln.

READ: Uber IPO hits speed bump, opens trading on NYSE below initial price

Uber has struggled to achieve profitability due to heavy spending on the development of autonomous vehicles and on rider promotions and driver incentives to fend off competition from rivals like Lyft in the US.

The group’s shares have fallen nearly 11% since it floated on Wall Street on May 10.

Uber is one of a handful of tech start-ups that have listed this year amid a global stock market sell-off as a result of concerns about US-China trade tensions. 

Lyft’s shares have also been battered since it debuted on public markets in late March.

Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi said the company's disappointing start to trading was just a step on "the long journey of making Uber a platform for the movement of people and transport of commerce around the world at a massive scale".

Uber finance chief, Nelson Chai, remained upbeat about the group’s prospects, saying he had seen some less aggressive pricing by competitors.

He said the company was prepared to keep spending on "global platform expansion and long-term product and technology differentiation".

"We will not hesitate to invest to defend our market position globally,” he said. 

Fri, 31 May 2019 10:06:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber IPO hits speed bump, opens trading on NYSE below initial price ]]> Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) crashed in its much-anticipated debut as a publicly traded company Friday, opening at US$42, 6.6% below its US$45 IPO price.

The ride-sharing app has raised just over US$8bn despite pricing shares at the lower end of the planned range ahead of its Wall Street debut under the UBER ticker symbol.

Amid a deep pullback this week in the broader markets over worries about US-China trade relations, and a disappointing IPO for rival Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT) as a backdrop, Uber sideswiped on its road to its first trade. 

Still, it's the largest initial public offering of a US tech company since Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) US$16bn maiden fundraising in 2012 and far eclipsed Lyft’s US$2.2bn IPO in March.

READ: Uber seeking valuation of up to US$91.5bn in IPO

As part of the IPO, Uber sold 180mln shares at a price of US$45 apiece, which compared to the US$44-US$50 range indicated last week.

Shares in US IPOs usually begin to trade, or "uncross", with all the buy and sell orders matched, by around 11.00 am US time.  

Another 27mln shares owned by existing Uber shareholders could be issued in an overallotment offer in the coming four weeks, raising another US$1.2bn that will not result in any proceeds for the company.

Uber, which offers services ranging from ride-sharing to food delivery and made an operating loss of roughly $3bn last year, will have an initial valuation of US$75mln when it begins trading. Wall Street bankers had suggested to Uber last year that a valuation of as much as $120bn was possible, though the company’s co-founder Travis Kalanick’s 8.6% stake will still be worth a tidy US$7.1bn at the float price.

At the end of last year, Uber had 91mln monthly active platform consumers and 3.9mln drivers on its books, completing an average of around 14mln trips each day.

While like many other rising tech stars, Uber has never made a profit but has millions of users and its technology has attracted lots of excitement. Last month, the Japanese trio of Toyota Motor Corp, Denso Corporation and SoftBank Group Corp announced a $1bn combined investment in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, a new unit that aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services. This was not the first investment in Uber by SoftBank, with conglomerate's stake last year valued at around $3.8bn.

Lyft lessons learned

Uber's IPO pricing towards the bottom of the range was unsurprising, analysts said.

"It’s a rough time to be coming to the market after the selloff this week but this IPO exists to a degree in its own bubble," said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at "Are you betting on the long payoff? If not, you may well be disappointed – profits are not coming any time soon."

He said a spike in the shares on Friday's debut would not be a shock as he saw Uber's conservative approach to pricing near the bottom of the range a result of learning from Lyft’s bumpy post-IPO ride, with some of Lyft's sellers likely to be doing so in preparation for the Uber listing. "FOMO is a strong emotion."

Nevertheless, Wilson said he main concern was Uber's slowing revenue growth. "Whatever the cash burn, you’d want to see accelerating top line growth in a disruptor coming to market."

Jake Robbins, fund manager at Premier Asset Management, agreed that Uber was similar to many of the other loss-making disruptors coming to the market of late, with a goal of becoming the dominant player in whatever industry they happen to be in.

"As such," Robbins said, "the entirety of the valuation of Uber lies sometime into the future, maybe even decades away if ever at all, before they begin to generate profits and cash flow. This makes their shares extremely sensitive to perceptions around their growth rates and their ability to dominate their competition.”

He said that Uber’s long-term share price will be driven by their ability to take large market shares around the world and eventually turn that dominant position into a profit. 

--UPDATES with opening price--


Fri, 10 May 2019 08:45:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber seeking valuation of up to US$91.5bn in IPO ]]> Uber Technologies Inc revealed on Friday that it is looking to fetch a valuation of up to US$91.5bn in its initial public offering.

The ride-hailing company set a target price range of US$44 to US$50 in a regulatory filing.

It plans to sell 180 million shares to raise up to US$9bn. Existing investors will sell a further 28 million shares for up to US$1.35bn.

READ: Uber Technologies files for IPO

PayPal has agreed to buy US$500mln in stock in a private placement at the price the float is eventually set at.

Uber expects to price the IPO on May 9 and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange the next day, according to Reuters.

In the regulatory filing, Uber reported a net loss attributable to the company for the first quarter of about US$1bn, on sales of about US$3bn.

Uber’s management will spend the coming days promoting itself to public markets investors.

The company is likely to be grilled over when it will turn a profit, how it plans to tackle the shift towards autonomous vehicles and whether it can handle higher costs related to changes to minimum wage rules.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will also need to persuade investors that he has changed the company’s culture and business practices after a string of scandals, including sexual harassment allegations, a data breach and the use of illicit software to evade authorities.

The IPO valuation Uber is aiming towards is less than the US$120bn investment that bankers had told the company it could get last year. Uber fetched a US$76bn valuation in its last private fundraising round in 2018.

The lower-than-expected valuation target comes after a weak start to trading by smaller rival Lyft Inc. Shares in Lyft, which floated last month, were down 20% from their IPO on Thursday due to concerns about its strategy to turn a profit.

Fri, 26 Apr 2019 14:37:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber Technologies files for IPO ]]> Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:Uber) filed an S-1 form Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the closing bell, setting the stage for the transportation company to go public next month.

This comes just weeks after ride-share rival Lyft Inc’s (NASDAQ:LYFT) high-profile debut on the public market. The two ride-hailing companies had been racing toward the public markets practically in tandem, though Uber’s highly antcipated offering is likely to be significantly larger, and one of the largest offerings this year.

According to Bloomberg, Uber is seeking to raise about $10 billion, which would make Uber the largest tech IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014.

READ: How UK investors can trade Uber’s upcoming US$100bn IPO

Uber will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “Uber.”

Not surprisingly, the Uber IPO is likely to deliver one of the biggest paydays in Silicon Valley startup history.

“The ride-hailing company, which revealed its largest shareholders in IPO documents on Thursday, is expected to go public as soon as next month at a valuation of as much as $100 billion, or $55 a share, people familiar with the matter have said,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber holds a stake that could be valued at over $6 billion.

Uber’s biggest shareholder is SoftBank Group Inc., with a stake that would be worth more than $12 billion at the upper end of the company’s target IPO price range.

Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., is now one of the top holders in Uber, having invested from its venture-capital arm GV, for a stake that could be worth nearly $4 billion.

Lifting the hood on financials

Uber explained throughout its filing that it faces mounting competition around the world, which took a toll on the business in the second half of 2018. The onslaught is so pronounced that a key measure of revenue growth between quarters has halted after surging in prior years.

Revenue from ride-hailing, minus some incentive payments to drivers and other costs, was $2.31 billion in the fourth quarter, down about $1 million from three months earlier. By contrast, in the final quarter of 2017, ride-hailing revenue expanded 12%.

Uber reported 2018 revenue of $11.27 billion. The company posted net income of $997 million in 2018, but an adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.85 billion.

Competitor Lyft filed its S-1 documents in March, showing nearly $1 billion in 2018 losses and revenues of $2.1 billion.

Platform Synergies

Uber said in its filing that it intends to continue to invest in new platform offerings that it believe will further strengthen its “existing offerings and fuel multiple virtuous cycles of growth.”

“We can rapidly launch and scale platform products and offerings by leveraging our massive network,” said Dara Khosrowshahi in the prospectus. “For example, Uber Eats is used by many of the same consumers who use our ridesharing products, and is built on our existing technology stack, and has grown by leveraging many of the same regional operations teams that built our ridesharing products.”

Revenue for the newer Uber Eats meal delivery service, touted last year by executives and investors as the shining star of rapid growth, amounted to $165 million in the final three months of last year.

On a separate note, there were 1.5 billion trips logged on the Uber platform for the fourth quarter. Drivers have earned over $78.2 billion on Uber since 2015, as well as $1.2 billion in tips.

— Updates throughout with quotes from Uber CEO, valuation, potential IPO size, Uber Eats revenue —

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 08:10:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber will seek to sell around $10bn worth of stock in IPO, according to Reuters report ]]> Uber Technologies Inc (PRIVATE-NA:UBER) to seek to sell around $10bn (£7.7bn) worth of stock in its initial public offering (IPO), according to a report from Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The newswire said Uber is seeking a valuation of between $90bn and $100bn, lower than the $120bn investment bankers previously told Uber it could be worth. Uber most recently was valued at $76bn in the private fundraising market, it added.

READ: Uber inks Middle Eastern expansion ahead of impending IPO with $3.1bn acquisition of rival Careem

The scaling back reflects the poor performance of smaller rival Lyft Inc’s (NASDAQ:LYFT) shares following its IPO late last month, Reuters said.

However, a float of that size would still make Uber one of the biggest technology IPOs of all time, and the largest since that of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) in 2014.

Reuters said Uber plans to make its IPO registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission publicly available on Thursday, and will kick off its investor roadshow during the week of April 29, putting it on track to price its IPO and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in early May, according to its sources.

Lyft’s IPO was priced at the top end of its upwardly revised range last month, giving it an initial valuation of more than $24bn in an offering that raised $2.34bn.

But the stock has traded poorly since debuting on the Nasdaq on March 29, trading on Tuesday at $67.44 a share, well below the $72 IPO price.

Uber operates in more than 70 countries and, in addition, to its ride-hailing app business, it includes bike and scooter rentals, freight hauling, food delivery, and a self-driving car division.

Last year, the firm had revenue of $11.3bn, but the company still lost $3.3bn, excluding gains from the sale of overseas business units in Russia and Southeast Asia.

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 11:45:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber inks Middle Eastern expansion ahead of impending IPO with $3.1bn acquisition of rival Careem ]]> Uber Technologies Inc (PRIVATE-NA:UBER) is paying $3.1bn to acquire Middle East rival Careem, expanding in a competitive region ahead of its impending flotation.

Late on Monday, the ride-hailing app group said it would pay $1.4bn in cash and $1.7bn in convertible notes to take full ownership of Careem.

READ: Uber files for IPO as it kicks off race to float with rival Lyft

Uber said the notes will convert into its shares at a price equal to $55 each, a near 13% increase over Uber’s share price in its last financing round, led by Japan’s SoftBank over a year ago.

The long-expected deal ends months of negotiations between the two companies.

Dubai-based Careem, which was founded in 2012, operates in 98 cities in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey, compared with Uber’s roughly 23 locations in the region. Uber operates in more than 70 countries.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, the companies said, meaning it will likely be disclosed in Uber’s initial public offering (IPO) filing.

The group is forecast to kick off its IPO, expected to be on the New York Stock Exchange, next month, with the group likely to be valued at least at $100bn.

Tue, 26 Mar 2019 14:58:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber picks NYSE for its US$120bn IPO next month – media reports ]]> Uber has reportedly picked the New York Stock Exchange for its upcoming and highly-anticipated initial public offering, which could value the taxi and food delivery app at as much as US$120bn (£91bn).

The decision, which was first reported by Bloomberg, hands the exchange what will almost certainly be its biggest listing of 2019 and one of its five largest of all time.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BAB) holds the record after it sold US$25bn worth of shares on its NYSE debut in 2014.

READ: Uber files for IPO as it kicks off race to float with rival Lyft

To get itself in the top five, Uber, which is said to be looking to go public in April, would have to float around 16% of its shares.

The decision to go with the NYSE and its iconic Wall Street trading floor means Uber will take a different IPO route to its smaller rival, Lyft, which will start trading next week on the Nasdaq.

That exchange has traditionally been the go-to exchange for tech giants and boasts the likes of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).

But since a technical glitch during Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) Nasdaq flotation in 2012, the NYSE has managed to attract large tech companies such as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BAB).

The NYSE has no doubt been aided by its Uber connections. The company’s chief financial officer Nelson Chai was once the finance boss of the exchange, while Uber board member John Thain enjoyed a three-year stint as the NYSE’s chief executive in the mid-noughties.

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:26:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber London can keep licence, rules High Court ]]> Tue, 26 Feb 2019 13:10:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Uber files for IPO as it kicks off race to float with rival Lyft ]]> Ride-hailing app Uber has reportedly filed a confidential draft document for its initial public offering (IPO), kick-starting a race to list with rival firm Lyft, which filed similar papers a day before.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the company filed the papers last week, with Uber potentially listing on Wall Street “as soon as the first quarter”.

READ: Uber reportedly in talks to acquire electric scooter startups Bird and Lime

The two floats could raise billions for both firms, with a Reuters report in October saying that valuations at various US banks had pegged Uber with a potential market cap of around US$120bn.

In a bid to perhaps increase its potential value ahead of the float, a report from the FT last week said Uber was in talks to possibly acquire electric scooter startups Bird and Line, two ‘unicorn’ start-ups valued at over US$1bn, in multi-billion dollar deals to alleviate constraints on its scooter supply following the launch of its own scooter sharing service Jump in October.

Mon, 10 Dec 2018 12:36:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - New York City sets $17 per hour minimum wage for Uber, Lyft and Via drivers ]]> Drivers employed by Uber, Lyft, Via and other ride-hailing car services in New York City have won a victory as they are now set to be paid the minimum working wage in the wake of a pivotal vote on Tuesday by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The adoption of the minimum wage – which comes to $17.22 per hour after expenses – will mean that New York is the first city in the US to establish a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers.

Taking effect at the end of the year, the new rules are expected to raise drivers’ earnings by $10,000 on average a year and require companies to be transparent on how they calculate pay and car leasing costs.

“I believe all New Yorkers are willing to pay a little more and wait a little longer so the people transporting them are able to provide for themselves and their families,” Meera Joshi, chair of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, said in a statement.

READ: Uber appeals employment tribunal ruling over rights for drivers

The rules came about in response to a proposal developed by the economist James Parrott, fiscal policy director of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, which evaluated how much drivers are paid and put forth the idea that drivers should receive $17.22 an hour.

Drivers with app-based car services have been campaigning for years to see higher wages and have confronted their employers for carving out too much in profits from their pay.

There are reported to be more than 80,000 drivers who are employed by ride-hailing app companies in New York, according to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission.


Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Wed, 05 Dec 2018 08:51:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Uber fined £385,000 for letting hackers steal data on 2.7mln UK customers in 2016 ]]> The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has fined privately-owned ride-hailing app group Uber Technologies £385,000 for letting hackers steal data on 2.7mln UK customers.

The ICO said the 2016 cyber-attack – which saw full names, addresses and phone numbers of users stolen – happened because of "avoidable data security flaws”.

READ: Uber reports higher 3Q revenue, but losses increase as company eyes 2019 IPO

Uber has also been fined €600,000 (£532,000) by data regulators in the Netherlands over the same breach, which also affected 174,000 Dutch customers.

The records of almost 82,000 drivers based in the UK – which included details of journeys made and how much they were paid – were also taken during the incident in October and November 2016.

The ICO investigation found ‘credential stuffing’, a process by which compromised username and password pairs are injected into websites until they are matched to an existing account, was used to gain access to Uber’s data storage.

However, the customers and drivers affected were not told about the incident for more than a year. Instead, Uber paid the attackers responsible $100,000 to destroy the data they had downloaded.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Director of Investigations said: "This was not only a serious failure of data security on Uber's part but a complete disregard for the customers and drivers whose personal information was stolen.”

He added: “Paying the attackers and then keeping quiet about it afterwards was not, in our view, an appropriate response to the cyber attack.

“Although there was no legal duty to report data breaches under the old legislation, Uber’s poor data protection practices and subsequent decisions and conduct were likely to have compounded the distress of those affected.”

The details on the 2.7mln UK customers were part of a massive cache of information on 57mln people taken by the hacker group in October and November 2016.

Uber has paid $148mln to settle US Federal charges over the 2016 breach.

Tue, 27 Nov 2018 14:09:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Uber reports higher 3Q revenue, but losses increase as company eyes 2019 IPO ]]> Privately-held Uber Technologies, which has cut its teeth in the ride-sharing business, said its losses climbed to nearly $1 billion although third quarter revenue climbed sharply, a report by CNBC said.

Uber CFO Nelson Chai told CNBC the company had another strong quarter for a business of its size and global scope.

"As we look ahead to an IPO and beyond, we are investing in future growth across our platform, including in food, freight, electric bikes and scooters, and high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position," the company's CFO, Nelson Chai, told CNBC.

The news on its numbers came out before the company's anticipated IPO next year, which some bankers are saying could value the company at $120 billion, nearly double its reported private valuation of $62 billion.

The company's slowing growth could be attributed to Uber's rapidly diversifying business, including expansion in its food delivery service, Uber Eats, and new transportation offerings, such as bikes and scooters.

READ: Uber boss says “very happy” with Uber Eats but firm is talking to many players around the world

The third quarter revenue was $2.95 billion, up 38 percent from the same quarter last year. Gross bookings, or the amount collected before payouts to drivers, came in at $12.7 billion, up 34% year-over-year.

Adjusted net loss widened in the third quarter to $939 million, compared with $680 million in the second quarter.

The company also broke out some figures for Uber Eats for the first time, saying it accounted for $2.1 billion in gross bookings in the third quarter. That's an increase of 150% from the same quarter a year ago, Uber said.

Uber is rapidly expanding its food delivery business and is investing in new mobility offerings, such as bikes and e-scooters. Last month Uber announced it would expand its food delivery business to cover 70% of the US population. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC at the time that Uber Eats growth ultimately drives growth back to Uber's ride-hailing business.

Uber wants investors to know it's more than ride-hailing, but some bankers say that could make it harder to value the company in an IPO.

Contact Rene Pastor at

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:56:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - The end of car ownership? Uber launches subscription service in five US cities ]]> Ride-hailing app Uber has launched a membership scheme for passengers in five US cities which it hopes will encourage them to ditch their own cars.

The scheme, called Ride Pass, allows members to avoid surge pricing, when the cost of a journey rises during rush hour and other times when demand is high.

READ: Uber appeals employment tribunal ruling

Uber is charging users US$24.99 a month in Los Angeles and US$14.99 in Austin, Denver, Miami and Orlando for the fixed-fare scheme.

The plan is to roll out memberships to other US cities, although there are contrasting reports as to whether it will be introduced in London or other UK cities.

By locking in consistent prices regardless of time or day, Uber estimates that passengers can save up to 15% a month though the new service.

Bye-bye to cars?

 “One thing we hear a lot from riders is that changes in price - however small - can make it tough to plan their day with Uber,” said Uber product manager Dan Bilen.

“The daily commute is a classic example, and it goes something like this: you pay one low price for the ride to work, only to find the ride back home is a different story.”

He added: “We want to make Uber a reliable alternative to driving yourself - an affordable option people can use for their everyday transportation needs.”

Mon, 05 Nov 2018 15:54:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Uber appeals employment tribunal ruling over rights for drivers ]]> Taxi-hailing app Uber is appealing an employment tribunal finding that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed.

The October 2016 ruling means Uber drivers are entitled to paid holiday and the minimum wage, which unions estimate is worth about £18,000 per employee.

Uber, which previously tried to appeal the finding but lost in November 2017, has now taken the long-running case to the Court of Appeal. It is being heard at the court on Tuesday and Wednesday.

READ: Uber boss says “very happy” with Uber Eats but firm is talking to many players around the world

The company has said the tribunal has “fundamentally misunderstood” how it operated.

Law firm Leigh Day, which started the legal action against Uber on behalf of 25 members of the GMB union, believes the case could have far-reaching implications for the gig economy.

 “This appeal is of great significance not only to Uber drivers but also to millions of other workers in the gig economy and we hope that this can now bring this matter to a conclusion for the benefit of all workers," said Nigel Mackay, a partner at Leigh Day.

Tue, 30 Oct 2018 14:50:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber boss says “very happy” with Uber Eats but firm is talking to many players around the world ]]> Uber Technologies chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has said that while the firm is "very happy" with its Uber Eats business it is talking to many players around the world, and not ruling out reports the technology firm could bid for UK food delivery rival Deliveroo.

Reuters reported that Khosrowshahi told reporters in London on Tuesday: "Is something going to happen with Deliveroo? Who knows."

READ: Just Eat off the menu on reports Uber wants to gooble up Deliveroo

At the end of last month, Bloomberg reported that Uber had started talks about a potential takeover of Deliveroo, though these were at an early stage with Deliveroo’s management and investors said to be reluctant.

Uber has been pushing its own food delivery plans hard ahead of its planned IPO next year and Deliveroo would instantly add scale in Europe to the Uber Eats operation.

A funding round in 2017 valued Deliveroo at more than $2bn but any bid would have to be pitched much higher to have a chance of success, said the report. Deliveroo now operates in eleven countries and in more than 100 cites.

The Uber boss also told the reporters that the privately-owned US firm has plans for every car on its taxi app in London to be fully electric in 2025 and said it will add a clean air fee to each trip from early next year.

Self-driving moves

And responding to a media report that said Uber was seeking to sell minority stakes in its self-driving car business Advanced Technologies Group, Khosrowshahi reportedly commented: "It's going to be part of the family and how the capitalisation looks like is something that we are ultimately open to but it is not an area of focus right now."

Earlier this week, UK taxi firm Addison Lee and driverless car group Oxbotica announced that they have joined forces to take on their ride-hailing rival and offer self-driving taxis in London by 2021.

READ: Addison Lee to take on Uber by deploying driverless cars in London by 2021

The two companies said on Monday that Oxbotica would start digital mapping more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around London from next month, using its technology to create a thorough map.

The move will see Addison Lee compete with Uber, which announced in March an agreement with Japanese carmaker Toyota to develop an autonomous fleet.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:51:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber planning to go into temporary staffing business ahead of IPO, says Financial Times ]]> Privately held Uber plans to use its “on-demand” model and large database of contractors to go into the temporary staffing business for events and corporate functions, the Financial Times said in a report.

Uber Works could help to persuade potential investors in next year’s IPO that Uber is more than just a transportation service, instead pitching it as a broader platform for all kinds of flexible work and on-demand services.

The project has been in development in Chicago for several months following an earlier trial in Los Angeles, according to people familiar with the matter, the report said.

It was not clear how soon Uber Works could launch, but the company has started to step up its recruitment for the venture, the report said.

Uber declined to comment.

READ: Uber Technologies raises $2 billion in bond sale as it gets ready for 2019 IPO, says CNBC

Developing the idea outside of Uber’s San Francisco headquarters and far from the Silicon Valley spotlight could help to keep it secret as Uber irons out any early kinks.

The company already has a large pool of drivers in Chicago who could potentially become Works contractors. However, the current pilot programme does not involve active Uber drivers.

The new venture is operated as an “internal start-up” akin to its successful Uber Eats delivery business and Freight, which connects shippers with truckers.

Uber Works falls under the purview of Rachel Holt, a longtime Uber executive who currently heads its “new modalities” division, which includes bike and scooter sharing. On-demand labor is one of several initiatives that the unit is exploring and may not become a fully fledged business line, the report said.

While some on-demand workforce companies such as TaskRabbit have offered an extra pair of hands to consumers to help with house cleaning or building flat-packed furniture, Uber Works is pitched as a business-to-business service, like Uber Freight.

READ: Toyota offers $500mln in funding to Uber as part of driverless car venture, says WSJ

The effort could also help to retain Uber’s drivers, which the company calls “partners,” by offering alternative sources of income. Drivers on the Uber ride-hailing network can already opt to deliver food for Eats customers.

The kinds of roles available through Uber Works - which would often be available in the evening or weekends, outside of the peak ride-hailing demand of rush hour - might also provide another way to alleviate the monotony of sitting behind the wheel.

On Wednesday, Uber announced another effort that is one step removed from moving people and goods from place to place.

Its Powerloop division will rent tractor-trailers to small and medium-sized carriers that use Uber Freight. Uber has signed up big shippers including Budweiser brewer AB InBev to use the service.

Uber is known mainly as a ride-sharing service.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:32:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber Technologies raises $2 billion in bond sale as it gets ready for 2019 IPO, says CNBC ]]> The privately held ride-sharing company Uber Technologies has raised $2 billion in a junk bond sale ahead of its 2019 initial public offering, a report by CNBC said on Thursday.

Uber raised $1.5 billion through the sale of eight-year notes with a yield of 8% and got another $500 million by selling five-year notes with a yield of 7.5% in a private placement led by investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), the report said.

READ: Lyft is zooming past Uber in the ride-hailing IPO race

Uber's IPO could be valued at more than $100 billion, which would be a record on Wall Street after the IPO of Chinese e-commer giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) which raised around $25 billion in 2014, the biggest such IPO to date.

Uber's Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said last month the company is on track to launch its IPO next year.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on 

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:06:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber IPO may be worth all-time record $120 billion, says Wall Street Journal ]]> Uber Technologies has received proposals from a pair of Wall Street banks that value the company as much as $120 billion in an initial public offering, which would be an all-time record and is scheduled to take place in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The figure for the ride-sharing company is nearly double Uber's valuation in a fundraising round about two months ago and more than the value of General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE:FCAU) combined, the report said.

Top investment banks Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) delivered the valuation proposals to Uber, it said.

READ: Lyft is zooming past Uber in the ride-hailing IPO race

At $120 billion, Uber's IPO will be almost five times higher than the all-time record IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) which listed on September 18, 2014, and was valued at $21.8 billion. Visa (NYSE:V) came in at second place with an IPO worth $17.9 billion in 2008.

Uber is a ridesharing, taxi cab, food delivery, bike-sharing, and transportation network company. It is based in San Francisco, California.

Uber operates in almost 800 metropolitan areas worldwide.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on 



Tue, 16 Oct 2018 10:33:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber said to be pitching $1.5 billion junk bond offering to raise capital, says Bloomberg ]]> Privately held ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc is sounding out investors on a $1.5 billion bond sale to raise capital, a report by Bloomberg said.

Uber is reportedly looking to sell the debt in a private placement available to a small group of institutional investors, according to people who asked not to be named discussing a confidential deal.

By not going to the bond market, Uber will disclose its financial information to a small, limited pool of potential investors.

The report said Uber may offer $500 million of five-year notes and $1 billion of eight-year bonds.

The shorter-term notes, which the company can not buy back for two years, may yield about 7.5% and the longer-dated securities, which can not be bought back for three years, may yield around 8%, the people said.

READ: Lyft is zooming past Uber in the ride-hailing IPO race

The bond sale may come as early as next week. It is being offered as fixed-income investors have proven receptive to debt deals backed by cash-burning technology companies.

Uber reported a loss of $891 million in the second quarter. Sales rose 63% to $2.8 billion in that period compared with a year earlier.

Earlier this year, the company took a similar approach when it tapped the leveraged loan market in a financing it led itself.

Tech companies have become the second-biggest issuer of leveraged loans this year, having sold almost $170 billion, according to data put together by Bloomberg.

WeWork Cos offered its inaugural junk-bond deal in April and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sold $1.8 billion of notes last year.

Uber is a ridesharing, taxi cab, food delivery, bicycle-sharing, and transportation network company. The company operates in about 785 metropolitan areas around the world.

The company is based in San Francisco, California.

Thu, 11 Oct 2018 09:05:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Lyft is zooming past Uber in the ride-hailing IPO race ]]> The race toward the first ride-hailing initial public offering is revving up as Lyft Inc moves one step ahead of Uber Technologies Inc.

Lyft has asked banks for formal pitches to underwrite an IPO next year, according to a Bloomberg report.

READ: Toyota offers $500mln in funding to Uber as part of driverless car venture, says WSJ

The report notes that this is an important step in the process because banks that underwrite a company’s IPO cannot also underwrite the deal of a direct competitor due to a conflict of interests.

Beating Uber to the listing will also allow Lyft to set the bar for ride-hailing companies rather than having its performance compared with the performance of Uber.

The company is said to be working with Class V Group LLC as it maneuvers through the listing process.

Sources told Bloomberg that Lyft’s offering may take place in March or April of 2019. Rival Uber has also reportedly been aiming for a 2019 IPO.

A private funding round in June valued Lyft at $15.1 billion.


Contact Lenore Fedow at

Follow her on Twitter: @LenoreMariee

Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:16:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - TUT Report: Ex-Trump adviser goes on Twitter rant; Uber CMO one of the best; Musk axes colors for Tesla cars ]]> The former adviser of US President Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos, launched a Twitter rant before going to jail for a two-week sentence for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians, as he suggested foreign powers were out to get him, a report on Vice News said.

Papadopoulos, 31, took aim at former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer in particular, with whom the former Trump aide had shared drinks at an upscale London bar in the early days of the campaign, in May 2016.

I love the USA and the brave men and women of the FBI that risk their lives to protect us. I made the mistake to lie to them for wish I am ashamed. On the other hand, I did notify them that I thought Downer was recording me with his phone. I hope that was investigated.

— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) September 11, 2018

Shares of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) were trading up 1% to US$30.86.

READ: A 'short' history of Uber’s controversies

Privately held Uber Technologies is getting a chief marketing officer who is an expert in building a brand with authentic stories, a report by Forbes said.

Rebecca Messina is charged with building a centralized, global marketing organization for the San Francisco-based company, which is said to be planning an IPO in 2019. She spent more than two decades at The Coca-Cola Co, most recently as senior vice-president of marketing and innovation.

Uber had seen some turmoil with the departure of a chief brand officer, Bozoma Saint John, and then former Target CMO Jess Jones, who had served as president.

READ: Nomura Instinet downgrades Tesla shares and slashes price target by 25%, says CNBC

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), is removing obsidian black and silver metallic from the standard color choices of the electric carmaker, a report by CNN Tech said. 

He said the reduced color choices would "simplify manufacturing." Tesla has been under the gun to maintain production level -- particularly of its Model 3 -- in order to increase revenue and avoid a potential cash crunch. Musk said the two colors would still be available as a "special request, but at higher price.

Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2018

Tesla shares were recently down 2.3% to US$278.86.



Tue, 11 Sep 2018 15:30:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Toyota offers $500mln in funding to Uber as part of driverless car venture, says WSJ ]]> Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) is expected to invest roughly US$500mln in the cab-hailing app firm Uber Technologies Inc as part of a pact which involves the two companies working together on the introduction of driverless vehicles, per a Wall Street Journal report.

The investment by Toyota would take Uber’s estimated value to about US$72bn, according to the Journal report.

Read: Uber sees second-quarter sales rise, losses narrow as ride-hailing app group continues global expansion

Uber has been on the hunt for ways to slash its costs for research and development and pare back its losses.

Earlier this month, the privately-owned company – which is not required to publicly report its financial results - reported second-quarter adjusted net revenue of US$1.75bn, up from US$1.5bn in the first quarter, as its second-quarter bookings rose by 16%.

The group posted a second-quarter loss of US$891mln, down from a US$1.06bn loss a year earlier, and closed the period with cash and equivalents of US$7.28bn.

Uber declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal regarding its story.

Mon, 27 Aug 2018 14:48:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber to pay US$1.9mln to settle sexual harassment complaints ]]> Controversial taxi-hailing app firm Uber is proposing to pay US$1.9mln to current and former workers who claim they were victims of sexual harassment.

The claimants stand to receive an average of just under US$34,000 each. In addition, the 56 claimants will receive an average of almost US$11,000 as part of a class action case brought by 485 people claiming discrimination.

READ: Uber's human resources chief resigns amid accusations she dismissed racial discrimination complaints

A hearing to decide whether to approve the sexual harassment settlement is set for November 6.

Uber said the amounts it is set to pay were “fair, reasonable and adequate”.

Last Thursday, the privately-owned company reported second-quarter adjusted net revenue of US$1.75bn, up from US$1.5bn in the first quarter, as second-quarter bookings rose by 16%.

READ: A 'short' history of Uber’s controversies

--Adds link to Uber controversy article--



Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:46:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber sees second-quarter sales rise, losses narrow as ride-hailing app group continues global expansion ]]> Uber Technologies Inc. (PRIVATE: Uber) saw its sales rise and losses narrow in the second quarter as the ride-hailing app group continued to expand across the globe and inched towards profitability, according to media reports.

The privately-owned company – which is not required to publicly report its financial results - reported second-quarter adjusted net revenue of US$1.75bn, up from US$1.5bn in the first quarter, as second-quarter bookings rose by 16%, according to Reuters.

READ: Uber sees big jump in first-quarter sales growth, plans to invest gains back into its business

The group posted a second-quarter loss of US$891mln, down from a US$1.06bn loss a year earlier, and closed the period with cash and equivalents of US$7.28bn.

Uber had posted a net profit in the first quarter of this year, but only due to a US$3bn gain from selling its Russian and Southeast Asian operations, and excluding the gain its first-quarter adjusted loss was US$577mln.

In a statement with the first-quarter numbers at the end of May, Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi had said: “Given the size of the opportunity ahead of us and our goal of making Uber a true mobility platform, we plan to reinvest any over-performance even more aggressively this year, both in our core business as well as in big bets like Uber Eats globally.”

The San Franciso based firm also said then that investors Coatue Management, Altimeter Capital and TPG Capital were seeking to buy US$400mln to US$600mln worth of Uber stock from existing investors at US$40 a share, which would value Uber at US$62bn, a move which the group said has now closed.

Japanese tech investor SoftBank Group Corp, which holds a 15% stake in Uber, bought US$6.5bn worth of the company’s stock in January 2018 at a US$48bn valuation.

Khosrowshahi has previously said he plans to take Uber public in the second half of 2019.

Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:03:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber could be sued for over £1bn by London taxi drivers, according to media reports ]]> Uber Technologies Inc could be sued for over £1bn (US$1.3bn) by London taxi drivers, according to media report, weeks after the ride-hailing app was granted a temporary licence to operate in the UK capital.

Sky News said the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA) was likely to argue that 25,000 black-cab drivers in London had suffered lost earnings averaging around £10,000 for at least five years as a result of Uber, which was operating with reported failings, taking the overall possible bill to £1.25bn (US$1.64bn).

READ: Uber offers riders chance to pay with mobile payment app Venmo

The Sky News report said the LTDA had engaged high profile legal firm Mishcon de Reya to explore the options.

Uber won a probationary licence to operate in the city last month, after Transport for London (TfL) initially refused to renew it last September for failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Steve McNamara, the LTDA’s general secretary, said in a statement: "We've been approached by a number of members to help them explore whether there would be grounds for a potential class action on behalf of all taxi drivers against Uber.”

“We are in the very early stages of obtaining legal advice from leading law firm Mishcon de Reya on whether this is a possibility,” he added, according to the newswire.

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 13:11:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber offers riders chance to pay with mobile payment app Venmo ]]> The ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc is making it easier for its customers to pay for rides by offering a new partnership with the mobile payment app Venmo.

Starting this week, Uber riders will be able to press a “Pay with Venmo” option as one of the methods when they hop into an Uber car.

Customers of UberEats, Uber’s food-delivery arm, can also pay for their deliveries with Venmo.

“With so many of our riders and eaters already turning to Venmo as a way to pay a friend back for that last ride or meal, we’re proud to have built a seamless, easy-to-use connection between our apps,” Marco Mahrus, Uber’s head of payment partnerships, said in a statement.

Read: Uber said to be in Middle East merger talks with rival Careem

Additional payment methods accepted by Uber already include PayPal, which owns Venmo, and Apple Pay.

Adding Venmo to its suite of payment methods will pave the way for Uber riders to split fares as well as that service will be free with Venmo.

The ride-sharing behemoth is the biggest retailer to agree to take Venmo payments thus far.

Read:Uber has been granted a 15-month probationary license to operate in London

Venmo has been a popular tool for people who are looking to transfer cash amongst themselves and more than 2mln merchants currently accept it, according to published reports.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:45:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber's human resources chief resigns amid accusations she dismissed racial discrimination complaints, per Reuters ]]> Liane Hornsey, the head of human resources at Uber, has reportedly stepped down from her job in the wake of an investigation into her handling of allegations of racial bias at the ride-sharing company.

Her departure follows an investigation into complaints from Uber employees that Hornsey routinely cast aside accusations of racial discrimination at the company, per a Reuters report.

Hornsey had been at the helm of Uber’s human resources group for roughly a year and a half, according to Reuters.

The claims against Hornsey were brought by a group of Uber employees of color. They reportedly claimed that Hornsey “used discriminatory language” and derided Bernard Coleman, Uber’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as another ex-Uber executive, Bozoma Saint John.

Read: Uber said to be in Middle East merger talks with rival Careem

The group also alleged that claims reported via Uber’s anonymous tip line were frequently disregarded, particularly if they were race-related complaints.

In a statement delivered to Reuters, Uber said it had conducted a thorough review of the complaints of racial discrimination.

“We are confident that the investigation was conducted in an unbiased, thorough and credible manner, and that the conclusions of the investigation were addressed appropriately,” Uber said.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:33:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber said to be in Middle East merger talks with rival Careem ]]> Uber is reportedly in talks with UAE (United Arab Emirates) based taxi app and rival Careem to combine their ride-hailing services in the Middle East.

It is a big region with much potential. For example, public transport is basically non-existent in Saudi Arabia, which has provided the likes of Careem and Uber a captive market up until now.

Several proposals

The two companies have discussed several potential deals in merger talks, it was reported by Bloomberg,  and under one, Careem would manage the new combined business while retaining one or both of the pair's local brands.

Another scheme sees Uber acquiring the Middle East ride-hailing app.

Uber has said though reportedly that it would need to own more than half of the combined company, if not buy Careem outright.

"Our ambition is to build a lasting institution for the region and that means focusing on growth into new markets and doubling down on our existing cities to open our platform up to new products and services," Careem spokeswoman Maha Abouelenein reportedly said.

And there's Finland

Also in other Uber news today, the tech group is to start operations again in Finland after a change to the country’s strict transport laws

It comes following an almost one-year suspension resulting from the new rules.

A new Finnish Act on transport services came into effect at the start of this month (July), aimig to be digital-friendly and to make the process of applying for taxi permits easier.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:17:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Lyft takes a gamble on bike-sharing business and buys Motivate ]]> Lyft is taking a gamble on the bike-sharing business and taking over Motivate, America’s largest bike-share provider.

The price paid by the hired car company to acquire Motivate, which operates Citi Bike in New York City, Blue Bikes in Boston and Washington DC's Capital Bikeshare, is reported to be at least US$250mln, according to published reports.

In addition to classic bicycles stored in fixed docks, Lyft is also looking to introduce dockless and pedal-assist electric bikes across US cities as part of its acquisition. Such plans follow a move by its rival Uber to acquire the e-bike sharing company JUMP Mobility earlier this year.

More broadly, the takeover of Motivate will allow Lyft to capitalize on the popularity of the shared biking movement as people abandon their cars and public transportation to take advantage of public bicycling arrangements.

“Lyft and Motivate have both been committed for years to the same goal of reducing the need for personal car ownership by providing reliable and affordable ways to move around our cities,” said John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder and president in a statement.

“Bringing together Lyft and Motivate will accelerate our collaboration with cities and deliver even better experiences to our passengers and riders,” he added.

As part of the deal, Lyft will also take over Ford GoBike in San Francisco, Divvy in Chicago, BIKETOWN in Portland, Nice Ride in Minneapolis and CoGo in Columbus, Ohio.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:41:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber to find out today if it has been granted a new London licence ]]> Uber will find out later today if it has managed to overturn a ruling stripping it of its licence to operate in London.

Back in September, Transport for London refused to grant the taxi app a new five-year permit, citing concerns over public safety and security.

READ: Uber dealt massive blow as TfL refuses to renew licence

Company officials have been telling Westminster Magistrates’ Court over the past two days that it has changed since then and has brought in several new initiatives, including 24/7 phone support and proactively reporting serious incidents to the police.

Uber’s top brass has also been overhauled over the past nine months, with former Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi being brought in as its new chief executive.

The Silicon Valley firm said its corporate culture has changed since his arrival and pointed to its last three inspections which showed a “perfect record of compliance”.

After accepting TfL was right to reject its five-year licence request last year, Uber is now seeking an 18-month one to prove itself to regulators.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said on Monday that, in her opinion, 18 months “would be rather too long”.

TfL’s lawyer agreed, stating that if Uber, valued at around US$70bn, is granted a new licence, it should be under strict conditions and for a short period of time to see if it is serious about making changes.

Improved relationship with TfL

“We’ve had five years of a very difficult relationship, where Uber has felt that it hasn’t required regulation,” TfL licensing director Helen Chapman said in court today, adding that it had been “frankly frustrating” that issues the regulator should have been aware of were first reported in the media.

Asked if Uber’s efforts since the ruling had led to an improved relationship between the two parties, Chapman replied: “It certainly works better when an operator is seeking permission rather than forgiveness.”

A decision is expected later this afternoon at around 4pm UK time. That is unlikely to be the end of the saga though as both parties have the right to appeal the decision.

Until a final verdict is reached – analysts think that could possibly take years – Uber, which has about 40,000 drivers in London, will be allowed to continue to operate in the capital.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:53:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber has been granted a 15-month probationary licence to operate in London ]]> Ride-sharing company Uber has won its appeal of Transport for London’s decision to revoke its operating licence in the UK city, according to a report in The Independent.

TfL had previously declined to grant a new five-year permit to Uber in September 2017, citing concerns over public safety and security. The company was granted a probationary 15-month licence instead of the five-year licence it initially requested.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that the company is “fit and proper” and granted the licence after the company agreed to an audit, per the published report.

READ: Uber to find out today if it has been granted a new London licence

TfL accused the company of having a lack of corporate responsibility, alleging that the ride-sharing app failed to perform background checks on drivers or assess their medical fitness to drive and did not have a good record of reporting serious criminal offences by drivers against passengers.

Uber officials have been trying to convince chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot that the company has turned over a new leaf, providing customers with around-the-clock phone support and reporting incidents to police.

Under the direction of new chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi, the company says it has implemented positive change and points to its “perfect record of compliance” in its last three inspections as proof.

There are around 40,000 Uber drivers in London.

-- Tom Howard contributed to this report --

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:40:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber in court battle to overturn loss of London licence ]]> Uber is appealing today to overturn a decision by Transport for London (TfL) to strip it of its licence to run a taxi service in the city.

The US-based ride-hailing firm said it had made several changes to its business model since losing it licence in September 2017, including 24/7 telephone support, proactive reporting of serious incidents to police and changes in senior management.

READ: Warren Buffett sought US$3bn investment in Uber, but talks broke down

After its application for a five-year licence was rejected last year by TfL, the company is now seeking an 18-month one to prove to the authorities that it has reformed.

Even though the appeal, to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by Judge Emma Arbuthnot, is not expected to be the end of a potential years-long legal process, Uber can still operate in the city while the proceedings take place.

READ: Uber sees big jump in first-quarter sales growth, plans to invest gains back into its business

When it stripped Uber of its licence, TfL cited several failings from the firm including its reporting of serious criminal offences and background checks for its drivers.

London is a big foreign market for the US company, with around 40,000 of its 50,000 UK drivers based there.

The company has also been stripped of its operating licence in Brighton and York, although it is appealing both decisions and has since acquired new licenses in Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham, and Leicester.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 10:00:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Warren Buffett sought US$3bn investment in Uber, but talks broke down ]]> Warren Buffett, arguably the best investor of all time, earlier this year offered to invest US$3bn in Uber Technologies Inc., but the two sides couldn’t agree on the terms, according to media reports.

The talks between Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B) and Uber, reported earlier by Bloomberg News, came on the heels of a multibillion investment in the ride-hailing firm by SoftBank Group Inc. (TYO:9984)

The “Oracle of Omaha” has a history of investing in troubled companies in exchange for great terms. During the 2008 financial Armageddon, Berkshire threw lifelines to companies like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) and General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) and reaped billions on those opportune investments.

“Buffett proposed similar terms to Uber in the wake of a crisis of the ride-hailing company’s own making. Buffett would have effectively lent Uber his sterling reputation, along with some capital, in exchange for cushy deal terms,” reported Bloomberg.

Buffett’s initial offer was well above US$3bn, but during negotiations, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi proposed decreasing the size of the deal to US$2bn.

The billionaire investor confirmed the talks to CNBC. “I’m a great admirer of Dara. Some of the reported details are not correct but it’s true that Berkshire had discussions with Uber,” Buffett told the news channel.

Buffett has recently struggled to find sizable attractive buys. His company has piled up more than US$100bn in cash, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Thu, 31 May 2018 08:30:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber sees big jump in first-quarter sales growth, plans to invest gains back into its business ]]> Uber Technologies Inc. posted a big jump in first-quarter sales growth late on Wednesday and said it plans to invest the gains back into its business.

The ride-sharing app group reported net income of US$2.5bn in its first quarter on gross bookings of US$11.29bn, 55% growth compared with the year earlier, and its quarterly net revenue increased by 67% to US$2.5bn.

READ: Uber snaps up bike-sharing firm Jump for reported US$100mln

The bottom line number was boosted by its sale of GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. and a joint venture with Yandex NV.

Excluding those two transactions, the firm posted an adjusted losses of US$577mln in the first quarter, narrower than the losses seen in the previous four quarters.

In a statement, Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said: “Given the size of the opportunity ahead of us and our goal of making Uber a true mobility platform, we plan to reinvest any over-performance even more aggressively this year, both in our core business as well as in big bets like Uber Eats globally.”

Separately, the privately-owned, San Franciso based company said that investors Coatue Management, Altimeter Capital and TPG Capital will seek to buy US$400mln to US$600mln worth of Uber stock from existing investors at US$40 a share, which would value Uber at US$62bn.

Japanese tech investor SoftBank Group Corp, which holds a 15% stake in Uber, bought US$6.5bn worth of the company’s stock in January 2018 at a US$48bn valuation.

Thu, 24 May 2018 06:16:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber loses yet another senior executive as chief product officer departs ]]> Uber has lost yet another senior executive after a spokesman confirmed reports that chief product officer Jeff Holden is leaving his role at the tax-hailing app company.

The embattled company, which has lost more than a dozen senior staff members over the past year, declined to give an explanation for Holden’s departure.

READ: New Uber boss "scared" to take job amid scandals

Technology website Recode reported Holden – who oversaw Uber’s flying car operation, Uber Elevate – was pursuing another venture, although details are “scant”.

The Silicon Valley firm’s chief legal officer, Salle Yoo, and head of external affairs, Dave Clark, both left the company back in September, while Uber has been on the lookout for a new chief financial officer since 2015.

New chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has been working hard to improve the company’s image and relationship with officials after a string of recent scandals.

Earlier this week, it named Jamie Heywood as its new UK boss as it appeals the loss of its London licence later this summer.

Fri, 18 May 2018 12:59:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber shows off its futuristic passenger drone-like flying taxis ]]> Uber Technologies Inc. sees a future where its time-strapped customers can just as easily request a flying Uber. The ride hailing company on Tuesday unveiled its drone-like, all-electric prototypes for its fleet of airborne taxis at its second annual Uber Elevate Summit.

Uber is focused on getting the world’s first air-taxi service off the ground within the next two to five years. It's a world where passengers request an Uber Air on their phone, then head to rooftop sky ports where the aircraft take off.

“We want to create the network around those vehicles so regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS This Morning.

"We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality," he added. 

Uber's chief product officer, Jeff Holden told CBS the air taxis are still in “the design phase” and explained the technology works like a helicopter, with stacked rotors to create lift. But unlike a chopper, the aircraft will have “clusters of small propellers and run on electricity, making it quieter, more efficient and more affordable.” 

Ultimately, company officials say Uber’s sky ports will be equipped to handle 200 takeoffs and landings an hour, or one every 24 seconds. At first, the flying cars will be piloted, but the company aims for the aircraft to fly without a pilot.

CNBC reported that Uber passengers will initially pay the same as an Uber Black over the same distance, but once the service has enough passengers, the cost will decrease to Uber X rates for the same trip.

Uber is partnering with NASA on developing the new UberAIR service

“Urban air mobility could revolutionize the way people and cargo move in our cities and fundamentally change our lifestyle much like smart phones have,” Jaiwon Shin, who is with NASA’s Aeronautics Research mission Directorate, said in a statement.

The company plans to roll out UberAIR in Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles in 2023, with testing in those cities beginning in 2020.

Tue, 08 May 2018 15:52:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Another major UK city has decided not to renew Uber’s operating licence ]]> Uber has been dealt another blow after a third major UK city decided against renewing the ride-sharing app’s licence.

The southern coastal city of Brighton has followed in the footsteps of London and York which also refused to renew Uber’s private hire licence last year.

READ: Transport for London opts against renewing Uber’s private hire licence

Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel said it was not satisfied that Uber was “fit and proper” to hold an operator’s licence in the city.

READ: York rejects Uber's new licence application

“The panel did have significant concerns about the company’s data breach and Uber’s lack of commitment to use only Brighton & Hove licensed drivers in the city. These formed the basis of the decision to not renew the licence.”

Following the hearing last week, the licensing panel has decided against renewing Uber's operating licence in the city. Read more at

— BrightonHoveCouncil (@BrightonHoveCC) May 1, 2018

It came to light last November that Uber had concealed a hack that affected 57mln users and drivers in 2016. The company never informed those affected, instead paying hackers a US$100,000 ransom to delete the data.

An Uber spokesperson said Tuesday's decision was a “disappointing” one and that the company intends to appeal so it “can continue serving the city”.

Tue, 01 May 2018 12:01:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber's new CEO admits ride-sharing with strangers is a 'little weird' ]]> Uber Technologies Inc. is ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars into shared rides via UberPool and Express Pool, but it has work to do to reverse the mentality of its customers who think having another person in the car is “a little weird,” said  Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, this week.

“What we’re finding is that there are these societal norms that we have to battle,” Khosrowshahi said Wednesday while speaking on a panel in Washington, D.C. “You go on the bus, it doesn’t feel weird. You share a car with someone else, and it kind of feels a little weird.”

Khosrowshahi’s public comments about Uber's future plans come in the same week as a flurry of news about the ride-sharing company reveals his aspirations as chief executive, a job he took in August of 2017.

Indeed, Khosrowshahi looked particularly ambitious this week, by making a pair of announcements – which will push the company into bike-sharing as well.

In its first move, Uber acquired Jump, the New York-based dockless e-bike-sharing company. Uber users in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco are already able to arrange a ride on a Jump bike via their Uber phone apps, according to published reports.

Read: Uber snaps up bike-sharing firm Jump for reported US$100mln

Uber’s second foray, which also was revealed this week, is a partnership in San Francisco with a so-called peer-to-peer car company Getaround, which sets up rentals of private owners’ cars. Within weeks, riders of Uber will be able to rent the vehicles, which are listed on Getaround’s platform, by the day or by the hour, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The way the system will work is that Uber customers will be able to locate and book these cars, which range from Fords to Porsches, via Uber apps on their phone.

Signaling its intent to improve its image, Uber will also allow US riders to connect directly to 911, the U.S. emergency number, while taking rides. In addition to this safety feature, its customers will be able to choose as many as five friends with whom to share details of their trips during each ride.

The company is also making strides in improving how it vets its drivers. This week, the company said it would run criminal as well as motor vehicle checks on its drivers every year and invest in new technology which spots drivers' most recent offenses such as driving under the influence.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:48:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - France can bring criminal proceedings against Uber, EU court rules ]]> France is allowed to bring criminal proceedings against Uber for running an illegal taxi service, the European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

The case centred on the ride-hailing app’s use of unlicensed drivers as part of its UberPOP service in France.

UberPOP has since been suspended in the country and several other cities.

READ: Uber snaps up bike-sharing firm Jump for reported US$100mln

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled: “Member states may prohibit and punish, as a matter of criminal law, the illegal exercise of transport activities in the context of the UberPOP service, without notifying the Commission in advance of the draft legislation.”

Uber had said France should have asked for approval from the European Commission for a new taxi law that includes a measure that states only official taxis are allowed to use geolocation technology to show available cars.

Uber argued that criminal charges brought against two of the company’s French managers were not valid since France did not seek the Commission’s approval.

“This case is about whether a French law from 2014 should have been pre-notified to the European Commission and related to peer-to-peer services, which we stopped in 2015,” a spokeswoman for Uber said. “As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe.”  

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 11:09:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber snaps up bike-sharing firm Jump for reported US$100mln ]]> Ride-hailing app Uber is set to extend its transport offering beyond cars after it snapped up U.S. bike-for-hire firm Jump for an undisclosed sum.

Uber already had a partnership with Jump in San Francisco, and it said it will now look to roll out the bikes globally.

“We're committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app -- so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you're going, whether that's in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more,” said Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

Although no exact figure was given, various reports in the media claimed the embattled group is paying around US$100mln for Jump, much less than the US$3.7bn Chinese giant Meituan-Dianping is said to have paid for Mobike last week.

Based in New York, Jump allows its users to rent and ride electric-powered bikes via an online platform.

Unlike London’s ‘Boris’ bikes or Citi Bikes in New York, the bicycles are dockless and don’t need to be returned to a specific place.

Bike-sharing industry ‘worth billions’

According to reports, around 100 Jump employees will join Uber as a result of the acquisition, which is Khosrowshahi’s first since taking the reins last August.

With a presence in only two cities -- San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- and only a few hundred bikes, Jump is still relatively small, but it taps into one of the travel industry’s fastest-growing sectors.

The bike-sharing market is growing at about 20% a year according to analysts and is set to be worth between £3.1bn (US$4.4bn) and £4.6bn (US$6.5bn) by 2020.

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:08:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber sells its Southeast Asian business to local rival Grab ]]> Uber Technologies Inc. is selling its Southeast Asian business to its Singapore-based rival Grab in another bid to pare back its losses ahead of next year’s planned initial public offering.

Grab will take over the entirety of Uber’s operations as well as its food delivery business UberEats across Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In exchange, Uber will receive a 27.5% stake in Grab and Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, will join Grab’s board.

READ: Uber raises US$1.5bn in leveraged loan deal despite continuing to lose money

Facing fierce competition in Asia, San-Francisco-based Uber, which lost as much as US$4.5bn last year, is looking to cut its losses in preparation for an initial public offering in 2019.

In a statement, Anthony Tan, chief executive and co-founder of Grab, said: "Today’s acquisition marks the beginning of a new era. [This] combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region.”

Uber has arranged similar deals in the past, selling its Chinese business to Didi two years ago and agreeing to enter into a joint venture in Russia last year by agreeing to a deal with Yandex NV.

This month, the company raised US$1.5bn from a leveraged loan deal in a move which highlights the strength of the leveraged loan market at a time of rising interest rates.

Uber’s decision to pull out of Southeast Asia also comes in the wake of news that the company will pull its self-driving cars from the roads in North America after one of its driverless vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona earlier this month.

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 09:27:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber, Red Hat, Remington Outdoor Brands and more - PRE-MARKET ]]> US stocks are set for a higher start after Friday's plunge and plenty of stocks are in focus.

In focus in today's trade is likely to be high profile taxi app Uber, which is selling its business in Southeast Asia to local rival Grab. It had already admitted defeat in China and Russia.


Uber has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab.

I kinda like when both Uber and Grab are still rivals. I can choose whichever that has a cheaper fare. But now...

— UYAINA (@UyainaArshad) 26 March 2018

The sale marks a further retreat from international operations for Uber, after it sold its China business to local rival Didi Chuxing.

Meanwhile, Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) shares added 4.47% to US$154.51 before the bell in New York. Analysts expect the firm to post quarterly earnings at US$0.81 per share on revenues of US$761.60mln after the closing bell.

Elsewhere, private firm Remington Outdoor Brands, among the best-known gun makers in the world, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday. It is aimed at allowing the group to stay in business while restructuring its debt.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:BHVN) shares shed around 1% before the New York bell after the firm revealed that it has achieved both co-primary regulatory endpoints in its two pivotal Phase 3 trials of rimegepant for the acute treatment of migraine.

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:51:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber raises US$1.5bn in leveraged loan deal despite continuing to lose money ]]> Uber Technologies Inc has raised US$1.5bn from a leveraged loan deal in the wake of news that one of its self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

The money raised was bigger than the US$1.25bn it was looking to secure despite reporting an eye-watering loss of US$4.5bn last year and being hit with the scandal over its self-driving cars.

The news highlights the strength of the leveraged loan market, which has received a boost from rising interest rates.

The company continues to operate at a loss, which would normally reduce the appeal of its debt to creditors.

Uber last tapped the leveraged loan market about a year and a half ago when it raised US$1.15bn to help fund its expansion plans.  The loan was offered at a 100.75 original issue discount and is due July 2023.

In comparison, the new loan is an 99.5 original issue discount on a seven-year senior secured term. It has a yield-to-maturity of about 6.4%, making it relatively attractive compared to high-yield bonds. 

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:35:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Ex-Uber boss lands new job at parking lot real estate start-up ]]> Former Uber boss Travis Kalanick has got a new position, taking the hot seat at City Storage Systems (CSS) a real estate firm that redevelops parking lots for retail and industrial uses.

Alongside the move, Kalanick is investing US$150mln in the company.

CSS focusses on distressed real estate, it was formed by early Uber investor Diego Berdakin and the company presently has around 15 employees.

Kalanick, a co-founder of Uber, cashed out of the ride-hailing group by selling his shares for some US$1.4bn and he recently launched a new venture fund called 10100.

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:22:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber pulls self-driving vehicles from the road in the wake of a fatality ]]> Uber pulled its autonomous vehicles from the road across the United States and Canada after an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona in what is the first pedestrian death caused by one of these vehicles.

The accident, which took place late on Sunday night in suburban Tempe, is now under investigation by a team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and it may impede the movement to push for the quick introduction of self-driving cars, which are now being road-tested around the world.

The car was switched to so-called autonomous mode, but a driver was at the wheel when the accident took place.

“The vehicle was traveling northbound … when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle,” the police said in a statement.

Uber is assisting Tempe police with its investigation into the accident. “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” a spokeswoman for Uber said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”

Uber along with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car arm, have had pilot programs in place in the Phoenix area of Arizona for the last few years.

Last week, executives at Waymo and Uber pushed for Congress to put in place legislation that would fast-track the introduction of self-driving cars in the United States. The legislation has been held up due to concerns over safety from a number of Democrats in Congress, and Monday’s deadly accident may delay the bill’s passage.


Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:28:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber to share car trip data in London as appeal awaited on capital licence loss last year ]]> Uber has said it will share data gathered from the millions of trips its cars make in London in the latest move to meet requests from the city’s regulator, which stripped the taxi app of its licence last year.

The ride-hailing app firm is fighting to keep its 40,000 drivers operating on the roads of the UK capital city after Transport for London (TfL) deemed it not “fit and proper” to run a taxi service, a move which it is appealing.

READ: Uber to force its drivers to take a six-hour break after 12-hour driving stints

The US-based firm has announced a number of changes to its business model in recent months including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to London’s police.

On Thursday, it said anyone would be able to look at its anonymised information, including on past travel conditions and how journey times in different areas of London are affected by events and road closures.

Last month, TfL said operators should “share travel pattern data to improve understanding of their services” as part of proposals to shake up the private hire industry.

The capital’s transport authority said today it welcomed any move which provided greater insight. 

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:39:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Uber Technologies to sell Southeast Asia business to Grab - reports ]]> Uber Technologies Inc has reportedly agreed to sell the majority of its Southeast Asia operations to Singapore based rival Grab Inc.

The move has been described as a ceasefire in an expensive battle for market share in the region, which is seen to be one of the fastest growth territories for the ride-sharing businesses.

Uber is expected to receive a 30% stake in Grab as a result of the transaction.

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:06:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Uber to force its drivers to take a six-hour break after 12-hour driving stints ]]> Taxi-hailing app developer Uber is to force its drivers to take a six-hour break after racking up 12 hours of driving time.

The new feature will count driving time, making it easy for drivers to keep track of how long they’ve been driving with Uber.

The drivers' app provides periodic notifications when approaching the 12-hour driving time limit and then automatically goes off-line for six straight hours when the maximum has been reached.

“Driver fatigue is a serious and under-appreciated traffic safety issue, and states need all the help they can get to address it,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

“This new feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users,” he added.

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 15:58:00 -0500