2020: Uber’s Delivery Business Spikes Up

  • General
  • February 11, 2021
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  • 5 minutes read

Uber Eats courier

The ride-hailing giant Uber has posted its financial results for the fourth quarter wrapping up 2020, showing its stats in the quarter as well as the whole year. 2020 was the peak year of the Covid-19 pandemic that led to a large slump in Uber’s ride-hailing business, but luckily for the company, its food delivery business was a lifesaver.

In 2020, revenue from Uber’s food delivery business spiked up over the year from $2.2 billion to $4.8 billion. Gross bookings spiked up from $14.5 billion in 2019 to $30.1 billion in 2020. This happened as Uber’s ride-hailing revenue fell from $10.7 billion in 2019 to $6 billion in 2020.

Overall, Uber posted $11.1 billion in revenue in 2020, compared to $13 billion in 2019. Its net losses fell from $8.5 billion in 2019 to $6.8 billion in 2020.

With a Covid-19 pandemic that significantly restricted day-to-day movement but widely drove up the need for on-demand delivery services, it’s not surprising that Uber’s Eats food delivery business has burgeoned. The delivery division has grown very well as Uber has made bigger investments in the division, including two major acquisitions last year – Postmates (for $2.65 billion) and grocery delivery app Cornershop (undisclosed price).

This new year, Uber just recently made another splashy acquisition for its delivery business, the alcohol delivery app Drizly for $1.1 billion. Under the leadership of its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the company has moved to shed its non-revenue generating businesses such as autonomous driving and flying taxis to give way to focus on its ride-hailing and delivery businesses. That strategy seems to be working very well for its financial performance.

2020 and now 2021 has been a good year for Uber as regards the company’s performance on the stock market. It now sports a market cap of over $110 billion, the highest since it went public in May 2019.

This year, it’s likely that Uber’s Eats delivery business will continue to grow healthily while its ride-hailing business recovers gradually as vaccines and treatments for the Covid-19 ailment get rolled out globally. 

Apart from its core businesses, Uber could also see huge monetary rewards this year thanks to stakes that it holds in other ride-hailing businesses, stakes that it got by selling its businesses in certain regions to rivals. The company holds respective stakes of 15% and 16% in Didi Chuxing and Grab, two ride-hailing giants that are reportedly looking to go public this year.

Didi Chuxing is the ride-hailing leader in China while Grab leads the ride-hailing market in Southeast Asia, with respective private valuations of $50 billion+ and $16 billion+. Uber also reports having a stake of less than 10% in Zomato, an Indian food delivery company that’s also reportedly looking to go public this year. Zomato was valued at $3.9 billion from its last funding round.

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