Ride-hailing Giant Uber Files for IPO, Says 'May Never Make Profits'

Uber narrows losses growth slows on the road to IPO

Uber said it operates on six continents with some 14 million trips per day and has totaled more than 10 billion rides since it was founded in 2010.

As ride-hailing major Uber filed its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus on Friday, India has been listed as its fifth largest market outside the United States in terms of total miles of rides covered (30 million miles). Included in the S-1 was Uber's net income for 2018, which increased to $997m, a major jump in income from its 2017 net loss of over $4m.

Disney unveiled more details about its upcoming streaming service.

But Uber's operating losses declined from $4 billion in 2017 to $3 billion in 2018, indicating it could be heading in the right direction.

J. Crew announced that it's exploring a potential IPO for its Madewell clothing brand. "The stock is down ~54% from its highs & we believe much of that performance has been a direct cause of increased competition and disclosure from Uber & other larger players".

In the filing, the company provides a lengthy list of risk factors that offer a sobering look at Uber's business model.

Uber had not revealed the recent user numbers before, and the figure shows the scale of the business.

"Our continued success will come from stellar execution and the strength of the platform we have worked so hard to build", said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a letter in the filing.

For context, Uber has been exiting markets like China, Southeast Asia and Russian Federation by merging operations with rivals who were forcing the company to burn more capital for competitive reasons.

The investment bankers handling Uber's IPO are expected to reveal a pricing range for Uber's shares later this month.

Lyft beat Uber to the stock exchange last month with an IPO that raised $2.3 billion, but its shares have been backsliding following an early run-up.

A key question facing Uber now is if it wants to keep pouring funds into its unprofitable ride-hailing business or redirect the tons of cash from its IPO into more profitable ventures such as Uber Eats food delivery startup.

Uber said its market share fell in most regions past year, although the rate of decline has slowed. Its food delivery business, which spans 500 cities doubled its revenue in 2018 to $757 million from $367 million in 2017. Now it will be up to the successor, Khosrowshahi of Kalanick, to convince investors who Uber has cleaned up its act and values that a market value greater than Ford Motor and General Motors combined. It launched its first self-driving test vehicle in 2016 and its self-driving auto division has more than 1,000 employees, and it has built more than 250 self-driving cars so far.

In its filing, Uber warned of this competition it faces that front from rivals such as Tesla and Google's Waymo, who it said may introduce than Uber.

"We believe that autonomous vehicle technologies will enable a product that competes with the cost of personal vehicle ownership and usage, and represents the future of transportation", Uber's filing said. Alphabet also owns approximately 5% of Lyft's stock.

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