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Uber narrows losses, growth slows on the road to IPO

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Uber is eyeing a valuation above $100 billion for its much-anticipated share offering due in 2019, which would be the biggest-ever in the tech sector, sources familiar with the plan said October 16, 2018.The sources told AFP the global ridesharing giant is considering speeding up its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) to the first half of 2019, rather than the second half of the year.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Uber on Friday released earnings figures that showed its loss narrowed in the final quarter of last year while revenue growth slowed as the ride-sharing giant prepares for a stock market debut.

The loss for the final three months of the year amounted to US$865 million, compared with US$1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The San Francisco-based firm reported revenue of US$3 billion, a 25 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Uber remains a private company, but routinely discloses some earnings information.

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Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who is steering the high-value startup to a stock market debut this year, has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader hit by a wave of misconduct scandals.

Revenue for the full year rose 43 per cent to US$11.3 billion, with Uber's annual loss shrinking 15 per cent to US$1.8 billion, according to the startup.

Uber operates its ride-share business in dozens of countries and has expanded to new areas including food delivery, electric scooters and bikes. The company is seen as the largest of the venture-backed startups with a presumed valuation of some US$70 billion.

"Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform," Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in a released statement.

"Our ride-sharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities."

Based on gross bookings, Uber Eats has apparently become the largest online food delivery business outside of China, according to Mr Chai.

AFP