Uber reveals IPO with warning it may never make a profit

Uber Technologies Inc

Uber Technologies Inc has a base of 91 million users, but growth is reducing and it may never make a profit, the company stated on Thursday in its IPO filing.

The document provided the first detailed financial picture of the decade-old company which was started after its founders had a hard time to get a cab on a snowy night and has changed the way much of the world travels.

The S-1 filing underlines Uber’s rapid growth in the last three years but also how a range of public scandals and increased rivalry from competitors have weighed on its strategies to attract and retain riders.

The disclosure also indicated how far Uber remains from turning a profit, with the company stating it expects operating expenses to boost significantly in the foreseeable future and it “may not achieve profitability.”

Uber lost $3.03 billion in the last year from operations.

The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed Uber had 91 million average monthly active users on its platforms, including for ride-hailing and Uber Eats, at the end of last year. This increased 33.8 percent from 2017, but growth dropped from 51 percent a year earlier.

Uber had not revealed the recent user numbers before, and the figure shows the scale of the business. Although its user base consists of customers of other services and ride-sharing, the number is almost five times the 18.6 million announced by competitor Lyft Inc.

Uber in 2018 had $11.3 billion revenue, increasing 42 percent over 2017, but less than the 106 percent growth the prior year.

Uber set a placeholder amount of $1 billion but did not mention the size of the IPO.

Investment bankers had earlier told Uber it could be worth about $120 billion.

Although Uber is not targeting a $120 billion valuation in the IPO any longer, some stock bonuses to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and other executives of the company are only triggered when that valuation is reached.

After making the public filing, Uber will start a series of investor presentations, called a roadshow, which according to the Reuters will start the week of April 29.

The company is on its way to price its IPO and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange in early May.

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