Uber has delivered its first profitable quarter as
a public company, announcing adjusted EBITDA of $8 million for Q3 2021, up $517
million on the previous quarter and up $633 million on Covid-hit 2020.
During the company’s Q3 earnings call, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “Reaching total company adjusted EBITDA profitability
is an important milestone. And one that’s even more impressive when you
consider where we were as a company just 18 months ago.”
Gross bookings for its mobility services, as
opposed to food delivery, grew 63 percent year on year to $9.9 billion; in Q3
the company notes “strong growth” in the U.S. and Canada, EMEA and Latin America,
partially offset by a decline in the Asia Pacific region as a result of
lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand.
The company said that booking levels in a number of
markets around the world, including the U.K., Brazil, Germany, Spain, Taiwan
and Hong Kong, are up against 2019.
Gross bookings through its Uber
for Business platform were up 115 percent in Q3 on 2020 and were also higher
than the same quarter in 2019.
Airport bookings are ahead of
the growth curve at the company, growing 203 percent year on year; such trips
now represent 12 percent of all mobility bookings, although much of this growth
is coming in the U.S. market. The company has recently launched Uber Reserve
which offers curbside pickup based on flight tracking and Ready When You Are, a new feature that allows riders to request a ride once they land but
only be picked up when they are ready.
The company says it has moved swiftly to ensure it
has enough drivers to cope with increasing demand.
Khosrowshahi said in the call, “When we first saw demand beginning to outstrip
supply in Q2, we made a conscious decision to invest fast and to invest
aggressively in attracting drivers back to Uber with a focus on the U.S.
“The results are clear, we’ve seen 10 consecutive
weeks of active driver growth in the U.S., resulting in a far better rider
experience. The number of active drivers is up more than 65 percent since
January, and more than 20 percent since June. As a result, the incidence of
surge pricing has fallen by nearly half and wait times are now below the magic five-minute
mark on average.”