Uber Says It’s ‘Profitable’ in Its Most Developed Markets
Uber is losing $1 billion per year in China, but no matter: It’s profitable in its developed markets.
Co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick recently told the Financial Times that his ride-hailing company is profitable in North America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, accounting for “all general and administrative costs,” but excluding interest and tax. This doesn’t seem to include the cost of its headquarters in San Francisco, though Fortune has contacted the company and will confirm if we hear back.
Notably missing from the list is Latin America, where Uber has been operating since 2013, yet faces competition from a number or other companies, along with some legal snags with regulators in places like Argentina.
A few months ago, Kalanick revealed that Uber was now profitable in the U.S., but the good fortune has now spread to many of its markets. “We have hundreds of cities that are profitable globally,” Kalanick told the Financial Times. “That allows us to invest in new places, and to sustainably invest in a very expensive place like China.”
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Speaking of China, Kalanick also disclosed that the hot ride-hailing market is now Uber’s biggest in terms of ride numbers and contributes to a third of the company’s daily rides, which is good news given how much money Uber is sinking into the market. Recently, Kalanick also promised that Uber’s Chinese business will be profitable in two years.
Uber pays its Chinese drivers hefty bonuses on top of what it makes from each ride in a bid to grow its market share.
In China, Uber is facing strong competition from market leader Didi Chuxing, which announced on Wednesday it has closed a $7.3 billion round. The companies don’t agree exactly on market shares, but Didi Chuxing claims it currently holds about more than 80% of the market.
Uber is also on a fundraising spree. After closing a $5 billion round a couple of weeks ago, the company is now rumored to be pulling together a leveraged loan of $1 billion to $2 billion, thanks to Morgan Stanley (MS) and Barclays (BCS). As for its China arm, Uber is financing it through its main business’s profits, Uber’s own investors, and through some investors directly putting money into Uber China.