Uber will become profitable in three years' time, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in a recent interview with Bloomberg. While speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held earlier this week in Davos, Switzerland, the head of the world's largest ride-hailing company outlined his ambitious plans for the firm which he acknowledged has to start making money "at some point." While Mr. Khosrowshahi specifically said turning a profit is only one part of Uber's medium-term strategy, he estimated the company's ride-hailing unit will become profitable before 2022. Even though its core business may begin generating an income in the coming years, Uber is adamant to continue with its aggressive investments in various segments, particularly autonomous vehicles which its CEO deemed "a terrific opportunity" that the startup must continue exploring.
The highly diversified and ever-expanding state of Uber's operations will hence still impact its ability to make money for the time being, Mr. Khosrowshahi said, implying that even if the San Francisco, California-based startup manages to start posting profits within the next three years, its bottom line isn't likely to be particularly high. Autonomous driving technologies and new products and services they have the potential to create are still Uber's main focus and one that will lead to long-term growth and major income, the CEO said. Uber lost around $4 billion in 2017 and raised approximately $22.2 billion since its Series A funding round in 2011, with some investors jumping at the opportunity to cash out once SoftBank approached the firm with an intention to invest last year. Even Uber's co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick sold a portion of his stake in the firm for the first time ever, using SoftBank's proposal as means to becoming a "real" billionaire.
While the investment came in the form of the largest private stock sale in the history of trading, it was also made at a significant, 30 percent discount on Uber's earlier valuation of $68.5 billion, raising some concerns in regards to the company's ability to actually make money in the long term. Due to that state of affairs, Mr. Khosrowshahi is seeking to balance the startup's profits going forward, especially as Uber is now preparing for an initial public offering meant to take place next year.