Uber’s newest and largest shareholder, telecommunications firm SoftBank, wants the ridesharing app company to regain its market share in the U.S. and grow in more markets in Europe.
According to a report by the Financial Times, Rajeev Misra, board director of Japanese company SoftBank, said Thursday (Jan. 18) that the company will soon formally close on its $8.8 billion investment in Uber. He also advised that Uber would have a clearer and faster path to becoming profitable if it returned to a focus on its core markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America instead of its stated goal of being everywhere.
Misra is joining Uber’s board as part of the investment deal. He explained that getting the ridesharing company out of countries that aren’t profitable isn’t only about stemming losses, but also about boosting the growth prospects in Uber’s main markets and ensuring they remain promising.
“This is a growth company — this is not just about them cutting their losses,” Misra said in the report. “Who cares if they lost a billion more or half a billion less?”
With SoftBank’s investment, governance changes at the scandal-prone company are likely. What’s more, Uber’s new chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, will also have more control over the turnaround at the ride-hailing startup, though improving its financial position ahead of a potential October 2019 initial public offering (IPO) could be a challenge.
In late November, Uber reported unadjusted net losses of $1.46 billion in the third quarter, according to Reuters reports. The adjusted figure, per the Financial Times, is $743 million during the third quarter of this year, up 14 percent from the previous quarter. Those figures come care of new documents sent to shareholders. Net revenue during Q2 was $2 billion — a 21 percent increase from the Q2 result of $1.66 billion — with gross booking clocking in at $9.7 billion compared to $8.74 billion in the second quarter.