Uber files for IPO, discloses $1.8B loss in 2018

Uber unveiled its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) filing on Thursday, detailing its finances as it prepares to go public just weeks after its ride-sharing rival, Lyft.

The ride-sharing company said it intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “UBER.” The filing did not specify the size of Uber’s IPO, but multiple reports suggested the company would seek a valuation of $100 billion or more.

While Uber periodically provided financial figures in the past, the S-1 filing provided the most detailed look to date at the company’s platforms and internal metrics. Uber reported year-over-year revenue growth of 42 percent to $11.3 billion in 2018 and gross bookings of $49.8 billion, but said it lost $1.8 billion, excluding some transactions. The company lost $4 billion in 2017.

In identifying potential risks for its public filing, Uber acknowledged that it has “incurred significant losses since inception.” The company also acknowledged that its revenue growth has slowed in recent quarters, exacerbating concerns about whether Uber can be profitable given massive expenses. Uber said it spent $14.3 billion in 2018.

“We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability,” the company said.

Uber said it had 91 million registered users on its platform through the end of 2018. The company’s drivers have earned more than $78.2 billion through the platform since 2015. The app is active in more than 700 cities, with drivers completing more than 14 million trips per day.

Aside from its flagship ride-sharing app, the company operates a food delivery service called “UberEats,” which earned $1.5 billion in revenue last year, and a shipment fulfillment segment called “Uber Freight.” The company is also considered a forerunner in ongoing efforts by tech leaders to develop autonomous vehicle technology, though Uber suffered a significant setback last year when one of its vehicles fatally struck a pedestrian in Arizona.


After months of anticipation, Lyft beat Uber to public markets in a March IPO that valued the company at $24 billion. Shares surged in initial trading, only to recede in recent weeks amid concerns about Lyft’s ability to achieve profitability.