Speaking at a conference held in San Francisco on Monday, the cab aggregator giant Uber Technologies chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi said that “we can turn the knobs to get this business even on a full basis profitable.”
Uber’s last year losses were $4.5 billion on net revenue of $7.5 billion, but this is the last thought that Uber CEO is worried about right now. He says,”(forcing the business to be profitable)would sacrifice growth and sacrifice innovation.” Dara said that it’s Uber’s commitment to “developing” markets that are dragging its business down, but he views that as an “optional investment”. He however, thinks that it is the “right thing to do,” indicating that company will not stop exploring options and investing in Asia.
Ultimately, Uber’s business is getting people from “point A to point B” meaning that the company will continue to lose money. Khosrowshahi even compared Uber to Amazon on many occasions. While Amazon reported a net $178 billion sales in 2017, the net income was only $2.24 billion. “Cars are to us what books are to Amazon,” he said. In his views, by 2023 he could imagine Uber providing the entire transportation network for a city. He also spoke that he thinks the company has over “100 percent revenue growth rate,” meaning the sales have doubled.
Uber has come a long way from the point when it started off just as a car-booking service, but now has forayed into ride sharing, food delivery, while it tests autonomous vehicles and transport network for a city. The company is now valued at $54 billion and has raised a total of $12 billion in funding, which makes it the biggest venture-backed tech enterprise without a stock listing.
Addressing the company’s “appropriately negative” image, he said that the company has “good people” who are committed to their work and plan to change the world of transportation. The public image of Uber has been hit several number of times when its executives and former-CEO were booked for sexual harassment cases. “We deserve to be and we should be a brand that is beloved as an Amazon or a Google,” he added.
Talking about the investment from SoftBank, Khosrowshahi said that it “was a catalyst for us to move forward on some governance changes.”
Beyond that, Uber is also looking to partner with autonomous-vehicle companies to slowly integrate autonomous vehicles in its network filled with human drivers. By taking a “hybrid approach,” he predicted that Uber’s network of human drivers would only grow, even if it introduces autonomous vehicles.
It is no doubt that the new CEO of Uber has a lot of hopes and grand visions for the company, but he may have to wait a long time before it becomes as big as Google or Amazon.