Uber focuses on new “cake”

Uber has not been disappointed by the continued strength of the takeout business. On Monday local time, Uber announced that the total number of car sharing and takeout bookings in March 2021 hit a new high in nearly 12 years since its establishment.

According to the data statistics in March, Uber’s car sharing business in the past 12 months has an annual total booking volume of over US $30 billion, with a month on month growth of 9%; the take out business has an annual total booking volume of over US $52 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 150%. The company expects Uber to make a quarterly profit in 2021 based on adjusted EBITDA.

After the news, Uber shares rose 4.5% on the same day. Uber closed up 2.91% at $59.44 at Monday’s close. The share price has doubled in the past year.

It is obvious to all that during the epidemic period, Uber’s online car Hailing business suffered a heavy blow. However, the strong performance of takeaway business has alleviated the loss in 2020 to a certain extent.

Feng Huakui, founder of naughty e-commerce, said in an interview with Beijing Business Daily that Uber’s online car Hailing business has been greatly hit by the epidemic, but Uber has been making great efforts in the takeout business, including the acquisition of various takeout platforms, which is a new growth point during the epidemic period.

But at present, online car Hailing business ushered in the hope of recovery. Uber said in a filing with the securities and Exchange Commission that with the increase of vaccination rate, the company has noticed that consumer demand for vehicles has recovered faster than driver supply, while consumer demand for outbound sales has continued to grow.

However, in the face of growing demand, the challenge for Uber is that there are not enough drivers. As demand plummeted during the outbreak, many part-time drivers turned to other jobs. The Wall Street Journal also quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the checks issued by the new round of US stimulus measures have had a negative impact on the supply of online car Hailing drivers.

To address the problem, Uber announced last week that it would spend $250 million on a one-time incentive plan designed to get drivers back on the road. In Austin, for example, drivers get $1100 for 115 trips, while in Phoenix, drivers get $1775 for 200 trips.

“As the economic recovery continues, we expect more drivers on the road,” Uber said. This means that over time, income will return to its pre epidemic level. “.

In addition, Uber will release its first quarter 2021 results in early May. However, the company warned in Monday’s document that it expects to be affected by claims related to the UK driver settlement process in the first quarter. On March 16, Uber announced that it would reclassify private car drivers of British companies as employees, which means that historical claims and other related costs will be reflected in the first quarter report.

It is worth mentioning that Uber has been sparing no effort to explore business beyond online car Hailing. In addition to the grocery distribution and takeout business, it has even recently focused on marijuana. On Monday, Uber chief executive Dara khosrowshahi said Uber would provide marijuana distribution services as long as federal law allowed.

At present, Uber’s distribution business is still dominated by food and wine products. In February, Uber announced the acquisition of drizly, a liquor distribution company, for $1.1 billion, including its hemp distribution company, lane.

However, Uber’s acquisition does not include LAN. At that time, khosrowshahi said Uber was not actively interested in the marijuana industry and marijuana distribution services, but it might change in the future.

Marijuana is still illegal under current U.S. federal law, but some lawmakers say they intend to change the rules. In fact, in the past few years, a large number of state governments have legalized marijuana, while the federal government has acquiesced with little intervention.

For the possible distribution of marijuana business, Beijing Business Daily reporter contacted Uber, but as of press release has not received a reply. However, in Feng Huakui’s view, the key to the distribution of marijuana lies in its legitimacy. If marijuana is legalized, it is a commodity, which is no different from other distribution things, but its particularity will bring new market. However, at present, Uber’s main business has not recovered, so looking for new opportunities should be considered in the next stage.

Beijing Business Daily reporter Tao Feng Zhao Tianshu

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