filed for its highly-anticipated IPO on Thursday, providing the general public with a first glimpse of its explosive growth and piling losses.
According to the filing
, Uber had 91 million monthly active users by the end of last year. Gross bookings from ridesharing trips and Uber Eats meal deliveries amounted to $49.8 billion in 2018, up from $34.4 billion in 2017 and $19.2 billion the year before that. After paying nearly $40 billion to drivers and restaurants, the company’s actual cut is much smaller than that though, with net revenue amounting to $11.3 billion in 2018. Total costs and expenses, including direct costs of revenue as well as operating expenses, sales and marketing costs, R&D spending and general and administrative costs, amounted to $14.3 billion, however, leaving the company with an operating loss of $3 billion in 2018.
Speaking of losses, the market leader in the ridesharing space amassed operating losses in excess of $12 billion since 2014, making it the king of loss-making tech unicorns. Even Amazon, infamous for losing money in its early years, never piled up losses at a rate even remotely close to Uber’s. And yet, the company based in San Francisco is expected to seek a valuation of more than $100 billion in its upcoming IPO. Lyft, Uber’s similarly loss-laden main competitor in the United States, went public at a valuation of $24 billion in late March. Its shares are currently trading 15 percent below the IPO price, however, leaving many people wondering whether the same will happen to Uber.