The pandemic has dealt a major blow to the mobility sector in cities, and Uber has been no exception. So much so that it recorded nearly 6.559 million dollars (bn) in losses in 2020; same thing that continued to drag in 2021, when it lost just over $437 million as it closed a quarter with positive Ebitda for the first time.
Dara Khosrowshahi’s business was able to grow by leveraging its food delivery area, with Uber Eats, to the point that the turnover of this activity exceeded that of mobility services. During 2021, it recorded $2,314 million for its delivery business ahead of the $2,178 million reported by passenger transport
However, Uber’s mobility counterattack is about to happen. The American company will begin to integrate other means of transport, apart from taxis and cars with driver. In fact, this summer it will offer the possibility of contracting UK bus and train travel through its app; throughout 2022, it will include the ability to book flights.
The aim is to provide “a door-to-door experience”, Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional managing director for the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, told the Financial Times (FT) . He acknowledges that the pandemic has prevented them from “progressing as quickly” as they would have liked.
“With the Covid-19 behind us, with this great commitment to new modes of transport, we want to send a signal that this is going to be a very important growth lever for us in the years to come”, indicates the executive of the California company FT.
Moreover, expanding its operations to other modes of transport makes strategic sense: 15% of Uber’s activity before the coronavirus was precisely trips to airports and other transport nodes; thus integrating your reservation in your application will allow you to promote these types of trips.
Uber’s mobility expansion also includes hotels
This strategic movement, which goes in the direction of the transition from daily transfers to medium and long distance travel, could affect hotel reservations. According to Heywood, Uber could integrate accommodation reservations as early as 2023.
The way to achieve this would be to integrate the services of existing service aggregators: both flight booking companies such as Skyscanner or companies that also work with accommodation such as Expedia.
“We will not sell tickets directly, but will partner with an existing aggregator or API service at launch,” the company told the Financial Times.
At the same time, the company intends to extend its systems beyond mobility. In March, the American company launched Uber Explore, a feature within its app to book experiences such as:
- restaurant reservations
- Live events or other activities
At the moment, it is only present in 14 cities in the United States and in Mexico City.
All with the goal of becoming that awesome app that Khosrowshahi has been talking about for a long time. It will bring together everything from urban mobility and food or supermarket shipments in cities, to medium and long distance journeys, between cities or countries, and even hotel reservations.
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