Uber is still in startup mode, losing a ton of money but also growing quickly. And by a ton we mean you could not set cash on fire this fast.
The company offered a rare look at its books (the company is still private and therefore doesn’t have to divulge financial information) to Bloomberg. Uber confirmed the numbers in an email to Mashable.
The two main takeaways:
Users spent $20 billion on Uber in 2016, more than double what they spent in 2015.
Uber took in about $6.5 billion of that, but still lost $2.8 billion last year (not included in that number is its China costs, a market it recently left).
The numbers come out as Uber is trying to address internal issues around workplace culture (in particular gender discrimination) and halt the recent departures of top talent. Its CEO, Travis Kalanick, has also faced near-constant criticism for his actions and behavior.
What will cheer Uber investors is that the company is on track to start turning a profit … at some point. Uber’s sales growth is outpacing its losses, a trend that will help the company starting making money if it continues.
That is not a foregone conclusion. Uber investors have piled more than $8 billion into the company (not including debt!) in the belief that it’s someday going to be on the level of companies like Facebook or Amazon. Some outside observers also believe that theory. Others don’t, citing Uber’s as-yet-to-be-proved model as having little upside.
And then there’s, you know, the bus.
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