Despite the gargantuan loss of $2.94 billion Uber posted, the company’s Eats business saw massive growth during the first quarter of 2020. For Uber Eats, the company saw a 52 percent increase in gross bookings, or $4.68 billion, according to the company’s first-quarter results.
“The big opportunity that we thought Eats was just got bigger,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on an investor call this week, adding that “at a time when our Rides business is down significantly due to shelter-in-place, our Eats business is surging.”
Other Eats numbers from the quarter, according to the results, include:
- Eats Adjusted Net Revenue of $527 million, up 124% on a constant currency basis due to “a mix shift toward small and medium sized restaurants driving higher basket sizes coupled with courier payment efficiencies, namely in the US.”
- Eats adjusted EBITDA loss was $313 million or negative 59.4% of ANR.
- Resulting adjusted EBITDA of a $313 million loss, worse than its year-ago result of $309 million
Khosrowshahi said on the call that small-to-medium-sized restaurants “continue to be a significant part of our business and our growth going forward.” No mention was made of the ongoing battle between third-party delivery services and governments mandating caps on the commission fees companies like Uber Eats charge these small and medium-sized businesses.
Uber Eats is also playing by the strategy of investing only in markets where it holds the number one or number two position. To that end, the company exited eight countries this week, most of them in the Middle East. “This move will allow us to redouble our efforts in markets with larger long-term potential and higher returns like the US.,” said Khosrowshahi.
Also this week, Uber said it plans to lay off 3,700 people, or 14 percent of its staff, in response to economic challenges from the pandemic. As of now, Eats does not appear to be affected by the layoffs.