Uber is probably the most popular ride-hailing platform available. They've expanded from their startup in San Francisco to all over the US, and in many other countries. Earlier this year, the company announced that they were indeed making a profit in the US, however now they are losing money again, and quite a bit of it. In the first half of 2016, the company has lost a reported $1.2 billion. Uber lost about $750 million in the second quarter, and around $520 million in the first.
The company's head of finance Gautam Gupta, told shareholders at a meeting this week, that the biggest reason why they are losing money is due to the subsidies for their drivers. Uber isn't a public company, which is why they don't announce their figures publicly. But a few of the shareholders that did get information about how Uber is doing, shared the information with Bloomberg, who then made it public.
According to the report, net revenue grew about 18% in the quarter. Going from $960 million in Q1 to around $1.1 billion in the second quarter. Bookings also saw a huge jump, coming from $3.8 billion in the first quarter, to over $5 billion in the second. During the shareholders meeting, Uber also announced that they were changing how they calculate UberPool contribution to revenue in the second quarter. This is going to have an increasing revenue effect on their numbers.
Losing money is nothing new for Uber. The company has been around for about 7 years now, and through the history of the company, they have lost over $4 billion. In 2015, the company lost $2 billion alone. Their losses appear to widen as they expand to more and more countries. This may be part of the reason why Uber sold their China business to competitor, Didi Chuxing. While it's not uncommon for companies to lose large amounts of money over the quarter and the year, it's unprecedented to see a company lose this much. Amazon lost around $1.4 billion in 2000, which was the largest lost prior to Uber in 2015, losing $2 billion. What's keeping Uber in business is the amount of capital that they have been able to raise. Despite losing buckets of money, shareholders are still very interested in Uber.