Uber CEO predicts Amazon-style losses to fuel lofty goals

Uber CEO predicts Amazon-style losses to fuel lofty goals

Khosrowshahi's comments come just days after Uber settled a lawsuit in which Waymo, the self-driving auto company owned by Google parent Alphabet, had accused it of stealing trade secrets.

It'd be easy to chalk up the $US4.5 billion ($5.7 billion) figure to Uber's many, many scandals, but both Bloomberg and The Information's read of the finance report also points to Uber's exhaustive growth strategy, even as PR cataclysms dominated headlines.

"We strive to be and should be a brand that is as beloved as Amazon and Google", Khosrowshahi said late Wednesday during an appearance at a Goldman Sachs technology conference.

Uber started out as a car-booking service, but has since expanded into ride sharing and food delivery, while testing autonomous vehicles and transport of goods. In case, Waymo is able to justify their allegations and prove that Uber is involved in unethical practices of stealing their trade secrets and initiated the development of the self-driving technology program, then there are high chances that they would stop the development process and demand for the damages caused by the stealing activity up to $1.86 billion. Mr Khosrowshahi took over from ousted co-founder Travis Kalanick late previous year.

Gross revenue for the year rose 85 percent over 2016, to $37 billion.


Khosrowshahi also predicted that Uber will be well on the way to turning a profit by time make an initial public offering of its stock next year, despite a $4.5 billion loss last year.

Khosrowshahi also said the recent SoftBank investment was a major milestone because it provided liquidity for some employees and also "was a catalyst for us to move forward on some governance changes".

Uber considers adjusted earnings before taxes as a better indicator of its financial performance. 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. Uber concluded the year with about $6 billion in cash, 13 percent less than the year before. "Their app is just a download away from people moving on to a competitor", he said. The company said the market share has now stabilized. He he joined Uber, he said, because it was a verb.

While Uber's losses are significant, the company appears to be on the right track under Khosrowshahi's leadership, said Rohit Kulkarni, managing director of SharesPost, a research group focused on privately held companies.

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