Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Rough ride for Uber in 2017 as losses widen to $4.5bn

Rough ride for Uber in 2017 as losses widen to $4.5bn

Waymo and Uber last week announced a settlement in a blockbuster lawsuit over allegedly stolen trade secrets from the former Google self-driving auto project.

Uber is probably really happy to leave 2017 behind. Uber lost billions in China before selling its business there in 2016 in exchange for a 17.5 percent stake in homegrown rival Didi Chuxing. This attitude is clearly visible in the previous business practices and approaches adopted by the ride-hailing company since its introduction in the U.S. and other potential markets. The value of the merged entity was then estimated at around $35 billion, with Uber receiving an equity payment equivalent to the fifth of the combined company. The company reveals that its losses amount to RM18 billion in 2017, although its net revenue grew over US$1 billion in the same quarter-over-quarter comparison.

"I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway... get out and have an Uber waiting for you", Khosrowshahi said during his speech.

Fourth-quarter bookings rose by 14 percent to $11.1 billion. The most recent loss by Uber is based upon generally accepted accounting principles that includes write downs, and the enormous number of legal expenses, like the cost of defending itself against a lawsuit over trade secrets brought by Waymo a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

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CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in June and replaced by Khosrowshahi in August.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies' results are hard to report because only pieces are released.

A person briefed on the results provided some numbers and confirmed the accuracy of The Information's story to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Uber agreed to give Waymo stock valued at $245 million to settle the suit last week.

Uber might have its origins in taxis, but, just like Amazon started off selling books before expanding into electronics and grocery stores, could now be looking to expand into other forms of transport - including the humble bicycle. Later, Levandowski sold that company to Uber and allegedly handed those purloined documents over to the new owners to help with their own autonomous vehicle ambitions.

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