Saturday 1 October 2016

Uber bookings to triple in value to almost €10bn

Shu Zhang and Gerry Shih

Published 21/08/2015 | 08:11

Uber Technologies' global bookings are projected to rise nearly threefold to $10.84 billion (€9.6 billion) this year and reach $26.12 billion the next, according to a recent presentation for potential investors seen by Reuters.

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The ride-hailing service, which operates in over 50 countries, keeps 20 percent of booking revenue, showed a confidential slideshow prepared by Chinese bankers with input from Uber, aimed at soliciting investment in a fund participating in Uber's Series F financing.

Based on those figures, 2015 revenue would be roughly $2 billion, according to a Reuters calculation.

A spokeswoman at Uber's San Francisco headquarters, when asked about the presentation, said the company does not comment on "rumor and speculation."

The undated presentation featuring data from as recently as June offers a glimpse of the explosive growth of the six-year-old firm, last valued by investors at $50 billion - the most for a privately held technology firm worldwide.

Uber links passengers and drivers via apps, earning revenue Chief Executive Travis Kalanick last year said was doubling every six months. But its services have been banned in several cities where, for instance, drivers have not held commercial licenses. It has said it is working with authorities to lift the bans.

Bookings reached $2.91 billion last year and $687.8 million in 2013, according to the presentation, which does not feature expenses or say whether Uber is profitable.

The slideshow also said state-owned China Life Insurance and China Taiping Insurance invested in Uber in the past year, adding to a shareholder base numbering India's Tata group and Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd.

China Life confirmed the investment. China Taiping declined to comment.

The presentation was prepared for potential investors in a fund holding shares of Uber Global and Uber China, a separate company formed for the mainland where it competes with Didi Kuaidi. It contained operational data for both entities but did not break out financial details of Uber China.

It also forecast an initial public offering of Uber Global within 18 to 24 months. Kalanick and people close to the firm have in the past declined to discuss any timetable.

Uber is widely believed to be losing money as it offers financial incentives to drivers to gobble up market share. It is also dealing with numerous legal and regulatory issues and bans in countries including France, Spain and Thailand.

But backers ranging from Silicon Valley venture capitalists Benchmark and New Enterprise Associates to institutional investors Fidelity and the Qatar Investment Authority have poured in close to $5 billion to support Kalanick, who has said he aims to build a computerized logistics network.

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