This is a company that has become a byword for Silicon Valley excess – it’s not a business model to admire. This makes the number of left-leaning people bemoaning its possible exclusion from one city slightly surprising. Uber makes multibillion-dollar losses. The much-loved convenience and low prices rely on these losses, and on an excess of driver supply, so there’s always a car available when you need it. This isn’t good for the drivers, and ultimately it won’t be good for the passengers. It’s inevitable prices will rise – the company can’t continue to be loss-making for ever – and one theory goes that this will happen once it has driven its competition out of business, and/or developed the driverless cars that will put thousands out of work.
The excess of drivers thing is palpably wrong. Uber drivers spend more of their time with a ride than Yellow Cabs do (figures for NYC of course).
As to the losses, not, sure, would be interesting to know in fact.
It’s possible – and I really don’t know – that they’re cash flow positive in “mature” markets like London, the losses coming from starting up in other cities. Does anyone actually know?