Uber’s rapid growth has continued this year, even after deciding to leave China, but so has its losses.
The ride-hailing giant has lost more than $2.2 billion in the first nine months of the year, including more than $800 million in the third quarter, according to a report from Bloomberg. For the year, Uber’s losses could total more than $3 billion. Despite the losses, Uber remains the most valuable privately-held tech company in the world, according to CB Insights, with a valuation of $69 billion.
Uber has reportedly lost at least $4 billion in its four-year history, including $2 billion last year. A big part of that was the company’s attempt to take down the competition in China. In July, Uber merged its China business with Didi Chuxing, the country’s top ride-hailing company, after a fierce battle. As a result of backing off in China, Uber got a 17 percent stake in the newly-combined company and a $1 billion investment from Didi. Uber has reportedly lost more than $2 billion on its China business in two years.
Uber’s net revenue, the amount it brings in after paying drivers, has grown steadily throughout the year. After three quarters, that figure is about $3.7 billion, with $1.7 billion of that coming in the third quarter.
The total fares paid by riders continues to rise as well, but that growth has slowed. That is not much of a surprise after Uber made the decision to leave the world’s most populous country. Bookings were at $5.4 billion in the third quarter, up from $5 billion in the second quarter and $3.8 billion in the first, Bloomberg reported.
Previous reports have indicated another big drag on Uber’s balance sheets comes from the costly price wars it is waging with competitors like Lyft and the subsidies it is paying drivers to make up for lost income due to reduced prices.
The ride-hailing giant is also making a big bet on the potential of driverless cars and trucks. Uber began testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh earlier this year and then brought them to San Francisco. Using technology created by Otto, a company that Uber purchased last summer, the first driverless truck delivery was made in October.
Uber’s chief competitor Lyft is reportedly spending big to catch up with Uber and taking significant losses as a result. Lyft claims it has a positive impact on the cities where it operates, and the company recently released a report saying it generated an additional $35.1 million for the Seattle economy this year.