Like many companies, Uber has found the first quarter of 2020 difficult, especially given the hurdles presented by COVID-19 and many nations instituting some form of lockdown or quarantine. Consequently, the firm has found the going tough of late with its latest quarterly report illustrating as much.
To that end Uber’s Q1 2020 report posted a revenue of $3.5 billion, but perhaps more importantly a net loss of $2.9 billion, which represents the company’s biggest loss in the past three quarters.
There was, however, one shining light amid the poor quarterly report, with Uber Eats seeing a significant surge.
The food delivery service’s upward trajectory makes a lot of sense, given the fact that most people are limited in terms of their ability to travel. We’ve also seen Uber Eats pivot towards the delivery of essential goods during this time, and more recently look for other ways to leverage its network of delivery people.
“While our Rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” noted CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, regarding the Q1 2020 report.
“Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up. Our global footprint and highly variable cost structure remain an important advantage, as our expectation is that the Rides recovery will vary by city and country,” he adds.
As such we may be seeing a greater focus on Uber Eats moving forward, and more deliverable services being added to the mix. The delivery of essential medical gear and medication for one, is an area we can see Uber Eats being made the most of during South Africa’s phased lockdown.
While the company looks to adjust its strategy, there is also the stark reality of what this quarter’s losses mean for Uber employees. The company announced earlier this week for example, that it would be cutting 14 percent of its staff due to the impact of COVID-19, along with a further 400-plus being let go from its Jump scooter division.
With Khosrowshahi confirming that gross bookings for Rides were down as much as 70 percent in major cities across the globe, we could see a very different looking Uber post-COVID-19.