Uber lost $1.46 billion in the third quarter of the year, increasing its sequential deficit by approximately $360 million, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the San Francisco, California-based startup. The company's business is still growing, with Uber reportedly telling investors its gross bookings increased by 11 percentage points sequentially in Q3 2017, amounting to $9.71 billion in total. Net revenue consequently grew to $2.01 billion, a 21 percent improvement on the three-month period ending June 30th when it hit $1.66 billion. Uber's growth still didn't outpace its losses over the last completed quarter, with some insiders and industry watchers suggesting the company's many legal issues and scandals that emerged over the course of this year were the main reasons for that negative trend.
With a sequential deficit increase of 38 percent, Uber doesn't appear to be in good shape for an initial public offering that it's planning to hold in 2019 and is also running out of time to stabilize its operations and make its business a more attractive proposition to future investors. Uber's troubled financial situation isn't helped by the fact the startup has been without a Chief Financial Officer since Gautam Gupta left that post in May and is still in the process of seeking a new CFO, with the search being led by Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi personally, according to previous reports. The firm has been reducing its losses in recent quarters and hit a record-low in Q2 2017 when it reportedly posted a deficit of $708 million, with that figure now more than doubling in a span of only six months. The newly revealed financials are said to have been disclosed to shareholders eligible to cash out on their investments as part of a tender bid by SoftBank that's seeking to acquire between 14 and 17 percent of the company for approximately $10 billion, thus completing the largest private stock sale in the history of the secondary trading market.
SoftBank's bid is based on a significantly discounted valuation of what's still believed to be the world's most valuable startup, cutting its worth from $68.5 billion to approximately $48 billion. Some of the Japanese tech giant's partners believe that valuation is still too high, with recent reports indicating equity growth firm General Atlantic dropped out of the deal and Bloomberg now reporting that Russian investment company DST Global did the same. The minimum stake purchased as part of the tender offer is also said to have been reduced to 13.4 percent following the latest negotiations. Uber's investors with at least 10,000 shares now have just under three weeks to decide whether to partially or completely cash out on SoftBank's tender offer.