|From: Glenn Petersen||2/20/2022 4:39:33 AM|
|UBER AND LYFT ARE TAKING ON HEALTHCARE, AND DRIVERS ARE JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE|
Experts worry that rideshare drivers aren’t prepared
By Nicole Wetsman
Feb 17, 2022, 10:00am EST
Within the first week that Austin Correll was driving for Lyft in the fall of 2021, he was sent to pick up passengers at an address that turned out to be for a hospital. When he pulled up to the curb, he found an elderly woman in a wheelchair and another other with a walker, waiting for him — flanked by four or five nurses.
He got out and talked to the nurses, who told him that the woman in the wheelchair had just had heart surgery and needed to go to assisted living. The woman with the walker was her daughter, and she also appeared to have some health problems, Correll says.
Correll, who said he started working for Lyft for a few months while he waited for the results of his bar exam, doesn’t have any medical training. He told The Verge he immediately felt unprepared for the responsibility of transporting these two women, who were supposed to go to a motel around two hours away. When the nurses then told him that, on arrival at the motel, he should call an ambulance to help move the passengers into their room, he grew even more uneasy.
“The biggest thing I was worried about was, what if there was a medical emergency? This isn’t somebody who got their arm broken, got a cast, and needed to get home,” Correll says. “These are two people with severe medical issues.”
When they got to the motel, Correll decided he didn’t want to call the ambulance. Instead, as carefully as possible, he helped both women out of his truck and into their hotel room. After the ride was over, he reached out to Lyft to ask how he got put in this situation. The company wasn’t much help, he says. Lyft did not respond to a request for comment on this specific situation.
Correll is now working as a lawyer. But if he had kept driving, he might have run into more situations like this one. That’s because, for the past few years, rideshare companies Lyft and Uber have been moving into the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business, offering their networks to healthcare organizations that need to schedule rides for patients. Correll isn’t sure if his ride was through a formal NEMT program, but it could have been: to protect patient privacy, drivers aren’t told if their rides are from healthcare partnerships or not.
NEMT is used as a way to help low-income patients and Medicaid recipients get to appointments they might otherwise miss because they lack access to transportation. The need for such services is significant: millions of people in the United States, mostly low income, miss doctors’ appointments each year because of transportation barriers, costing the health system billions of dollars. But while NEMT is often done through dedicated companies, rideshare groups are now interested in what’s estimated to be a $3 billion market.
Rideshare is a cheaper alternative for healthcare organizations, and some experts think it has the potential to fill gaps in what NEMT services are able to offer. But research so far hasn’t borne that out, and clinicians say they worry that Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t adequately trained to safely transport the types of passengers who typically use NEMT.
“It has the benefits of flexibility,” says Yochai Eisenberg, an assistant professor of disability and human development at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. “It can save money, and it’s less costly than a lot of the existing infrastructure. But the lower cost is taking away in some way from the quality that traditional transportation companies can provide.”
A HEALTHCARE GAP
Lyft was the first rideshare company to launch an NEMT program. In 2016, it started offering healthcare organizations the ability to book rides for patients through its platform. In April 2021, the company launched the Lyft Pass for Healthcare program, which lets organizations cover the cost of rides that patients book themselves. Uber launched its NEMT program in 2018.
Both companies have expanded their partnerships with the healthcare sector over the past few years. Uber and Lyft now have their systems built into some electronic health record platforms, so doctors can schedule directly through a patient’s medical record. They also have specialized programs available in some cities, called Lyft Assisted and Uber Assist, where drivers provide light physical assistance walking riders door to door rather than just taking passengers curb to curb. While Lyft and Uber consider their assisted services to be separate from their NEMT programs, there’s some overlap: healthcare organizations partnering with Lyft for NEMT can schedule Lyft Assisted rides for patients, and Uber’s NEMT program pulls from the general driver pool, which includes Uber Assist drivers.
Uber said in a public statement in January that it has over 3,000 healthcare customers and that it saw over 70 percent growth in bookings for its health services between late 2020 and late 2021. Lyft did not respond to a question about the number of bookings through its health program.
With these new programs and expanded services, Uber and Lyft seem to be attempting to position themselves as healthcare companies. Uber just hired its first chief medical officer, geriatrician Michael Cantor. Lyft’s new head of healthcare, Buck Poropatich, comes from a healthcare strategy and business background. He told The Verge in an interview that if someone asked him if he worked for a healthcare company, he’d say yes.
Lyft and Uber say that they want to augment and improve on today’s NEMT services, which are covered by state Medicaid programs and some Medicare programs. Typical NEMT rides are more expensive than rideshare, and they are usually handled by companies that employ drivers trained to transport people with medical conditions. Health rides through rideshare companies are done by contractors who drive for the technology platforms and who get limited training — if they decide to participate in physical assistance programs — or no training at all.
While less driver training is a downside, rideshare can be more flexible, says Krisda Chaiyachati, an assistant professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Traditional NEMT companies have to be booked in advance, and patients get a wide window where they can be picked up. Sometimes, these rides aren’t reliable.
“It wasn’t just that the rides didn’t show,” Chaiyachati says. Even if people made it to appointments on time, the doctor might run late, and a patient would miss their ride home.
These are problems rideshare companies say they can help solve. With Lyft or Uber, people can order rides on demand instead of having a pickup window, and they can call a ride back home even if their appointment runs late.
Rideshare programs have had some successes. Some individual health systems report good results switching to rideshare for their NEMT programs. They’ve found more on-time rides, shorter wait times, and high patient satisfaction. Notably, rideshare programs are also much cheaper and lead to cost savings for health systems and insurers (rides are subsidized by the companies, making for a cheaper product even as the business is unprofitable).
But the handful of more rigorously designed studies that look at the top-line problem facing NEMT — high rates of missed appointments — haven’t found as much benefit of rideshare. Chaiyachati ran a study in West Philadelphia in 2016 and 2017 that found people offered Lyft rides weren’t any more likely to make it to their appointments than people who weren’t given rides. Another study, published in 2020, found that Medicaid enrollees had similar ride experiences with rideshare and non-rideshare NEMTs, but that people who had more rideshare rides had a greater odds of failed pickups. (Lyft published a letter pushing back on that study, criticizing its methodology.)
“On the one hand, this shows that [rideshare] is just as good as the traditional way” in terms of patient experience, says Eisenberg, an author on the 2020 study. “It’s saving time and money, it has flexibility, and the satisfaction remains the same. That’s OK — it doesn’t have to be better.”
But on the other hand, he notes, higher failed pickup rates are a concern. More research is needed to get a good understanding of the role rideshare can play in NEMT, Eisenberg says. It’s hard to do rigorous research, though, because the rideshare companies, like most technology companies, are reluctant to share their own data.
The studies done so far show that improving health access isn’t as simple as just using an algorithm to book people rides, Chaiyachati says. In his study, people said they missed appointments because they wanted to ride with a friend or family member who ended up not being available or because they didn’t think the appointment was important. Transportation, he says, is necessary for good care, but if rideshare companies want to solve healthcare problems, they have to offer more than the blunt instrument of an available car. The car needs to be accompanied by a more robust understanding of what people’s barriers to care are and a way to identify the subset of people where access to a more flexible and on-time ride is what’s needed to help them make it to their doctor’s appointments.
“If our goal was to reach towards equity and access, there are many other layers that need to be built into that,” Chaiyachati says.
Tim, who drives for Lyft in Baltimore, used to work for a company that specializes in driving people with disabilities. Before driving for that company, he was trained in how to assist people with disabilities, how to secure wheelchairs and scooters, and how to perform CPR, he told The Verge over Reddit chat.
Tim, who The Verge is referring to by his first name only because he still drives for Lyft, says he has concerns about Lyft’s healthcare programs, particularly the Lyft Assisted program, which lets drivers give rides to people who need light physical assistance after taking an online training course. At his previous company, he had in-depth training, knew that his passengers had medical issues, and had a support system in place that could come and help him out if a rider needed extra assistance.
That’s not always the case with rideshare services. And riders he drove through the disability company often needed more help than was initially indicated, Tim says. “Some are very frail and can’t handle a lot of bumpy roads. We constantly had to adjust our routes to accommodate,” he says.
Drivers who do not sign up for Lyft and Uber’s assisted programs can be sent NEMT rides without any training. Drivers who want to participate in the assisted programs are required to take tutorials created by the Open Doors Organization (ODO), a non-profit organization that aims to “teach businesses how to succeed in the disability market.” Uber’s program includes disability awareness training and information on how to stow assistive devices like walkers, says Katy O’Reilly, program manager at ODO. They don’t include medical or emergency information, she says: “I’d say it’s more just about customer service.”
Lyft’s tutorial provides more information, developed in partnership with occupational therapists, on how to safely walk with older or frail riders, O’Reilly says. It includes details about where the riders’ hands and feet should go while getting into a car and how to walk with someone who is blind, she says.
The Lyft Assist program is entirely online. Uber’s program used to have an in-person component, but O’Reilly says it “wasn’t really scalable,” and so now, everything is online. Drivers in Uber’s WAV program (for wheelchair-accessible vehicles) still go through in-person training to learn how to secure a wheelchair in a vehicle.
“You can’t just do something like that online,” O’Reilly says.
Experts who work in NEMT training don’t think an online tutorial would be sufficient to make sure drivers can safely handle people who need physical assistance. The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), which offers an NEMT driver training program with hands-on components, trains drivers on specific medical conditions, teaches them methods for securing wheelchairs, and other skills. Online tutorials or classroom training can provide some of that information, says Scott Bogren, the executive director of CTAA. “But we recommend as well that they do a demonstration with some of our trainers where they’re coached,” he says.
Eisenberg, the professor of disability and human development, says he would also want to see a hands-on component that involves working with people in need of assistance. “That’s the best practice,” he says.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Chaiyachati says he thinks online training could be enough, but only if drivers had resources available if they ended up in a situation that they didn’t feel would be safe for them or for the patient — like if there was a flight of stairs and a patient with a walker who they didn’t think they could safely assist. “I’m comfortable with that level of training as long as… they can call in the cavalry,” Chaiyachati says.
In an emailed statement to The Verge, Lyft’s Poropatich said that medical providers who partner with Lyft are responsible for making sure patients are able to use rideshare services. Lyft Assisted drivers do not lift riders in and out of cars or provide medical assistance, and Lyft Healthcare should not be used for people who have “medical needs,” he said. In an interview, he said Lyft aims to handle non-emergency transport for riders with fewer needs so that traditional medical transport groups could focus on rides “at the top of their license.”
Uber spokesperson Noah Edwardsen said in a statement that healthcare organizations select the transportation that meets individual patient needs.
But the experience of Correll, the lawyer who worked for Lyft, shows that if drivers are called for people with more extensive medical needs, there isn’t necessarily a high level of support or backstop. He didn’t have any information about how to handle two elderly and frail women as a standard Lyft driver. Even if he’d gone through the Assisted tutorial, he still wouldn’t have specific information about medical issues or be expected to handle their more extensive physical needs. But he says he didn’t have anywhere to turn, and he didn’t want to leave the women stranded.
Poropatich said in an interview with The Verge that there aren’t different protocols for a medical emergency or concerning situation on an NEMT ride than for any other ride. For privacy reasons, drivers aren’t even told if it’s an NEMT ride or not, he says. Edwardsen also said that Uber drivers do not see any difference between ride requests from Uber Health customers and regular rides.
That on its own is a safety risk, Bogren says. NEMT drivers should know if a rider has a medical condition so that they know what to do if something goes wrong. Even something that seems low-risk and non-emergency, like driving a kidney patient to and from a dialysis appointment, can have risks. If a patient starts to bleed from the incision where the dialysis is being performed — as sometimes happens — Bogren says trained NEMT drivers know to reroute patients to the emergency room. “You’ve got to match up skill sets with passengers,” he says.
Bogren thinks there can be a role for rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber to help fill in gaps in the NEMT system, such as when patients are discharged from the hospital in the middle of the night and flexibility with rides might be helpful. And the companies’ technology could help some of the logistical problems in the NEMT space.
But if companies like Uber and Lyft want to be healthcare companies, they have to take on the burden of safety and care that healthcare requires. Bogren says his company has offered to work with Uber and Lyft, but they haven’t yet taken him up on that offer.
So, for now, the rideshare NEMT programs are left with mostly-untrained drivers who aren’t given a heads up that they might be on their way to someone with a medical problem when they accept a ride. Correll knows that there need to be transportation options for people without the resources to get themselves to appointments. But he thinks rideshare NEMT programs, as currently structured, are doing a disservice to vulnerable people who need support.
“There’s nothing about my experience and what I know about Lyft that makes me think that this is a safe thing for Lyft drivers or for patients,” he says.
Uber and Lyft are taking on healthcare, and drivers are just along for the ride - The Verge
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|From: Glenn Petersen||3/2/2022 9:46:08 AM|
|Uber, the everything app|
March 2, 2022
Good morning! Uber’s ambitions of being the “Amazon of transportation” isn’t just about rides anymore. I’m David Pierce, and I haven’t watched “Super Pumped” yet. But I did just start “Ozark,” and I’m obsessed.
Uber’s big ambitions
-- Uber wants to be a super app. The company has never been particularly shy about those ambitions, for what it’s worth: Dara Khosrowshahi has been saying he wants to build “the Amazon of transportation” for a few years now, planning to be as ubiquitous for getting around as Amazon is for shopping.
Explore is the next phase of Uber’s super app plans.
-- It launched the feature yesterday as a new tab in the Uber app. You can use it to get quick rides to your typical destinations; personalized suggestions; and offers for stuff to do and eat, and more.
-- “Places an Uber can take you” is sort of the unifying theme here, but it’s a much broader play at being the app you open to see what’s going on around you.
Uber’s really not a rides company anymore. It hasn’t been for some time, actually. It now makes more money moving food and goods around through Uber Eats than it does shuttling people through the ride-hailing service. (Turns out everything’s easier when you’re transporting cheeseburgers instead of humans.)
-- Eats generated $13.4 billion in gross bookings and $2.42 billion in revenue for Uber in the last quarter of 2021, compared to $11.3 billion and 2.28 billion for ride-hailing.
-- Just like Amazon was known for being a bookseller long after that stopped being its core business, Uber will be synonymous with ride-hailing for much longer than it actually depends on that business.
-- And as Eats grows, Uber’s turning into a shopping destination of its own. Uber had a Valentine’s Day hub for last-minute purchases, sells Goop products through an integrated store and ships from grocery stores and flower shops all over.
-- Even Eats isn’t a broad enough brand anymore, which is why Uber had to run a whole Super Bowl ad about the things you can buy on Uber Eats that you don’t actually eat.
-- And you can see where this is headed: Uber’s already playing with Prime-style subscriptions, working on its own payment systems, getting into freight and more. Connecting stuff and people is a big job, and Uber's trying to bring as much of it in-house as possible.
What Uber really wants to win is local. It has always aspired to be a sort of connective tissue for cities: You can use the Uber app to get around via car or bus or train or scooter, or you can buy anything you want from your favorite local shop and have it all brought right to your house. When Khosrowshahi says “Amazon of transportation,” he doesn’t mean the company that offers you lots of taxis; he means the way that absolutely everything moves and the logistics powerhouse underneath.
But this won’t be easy. For one thing, stuff delivery is a hugely competitive and quickly commoditizing space, as DoorDash and GoPuff and Just Eat Takeaway and countless others try to get you a toothbrush and a bag of Fritos faster.
-- And there’s still a business model flaw here, as Uber tries to find a way to make money without price-gouging either the people who make the food and goods or the people who buy them. Uber’s business is booming, but it’s still not profitable. And plenty of restaurants and stores would rather not be involved.
-- Airbnb is an interesting comparison, too. It built a huge business out of helping people find a place to stay, then rolled out Experiences to give them stuff to do on the same platform. But Experiences never quite caught on the same way.
It’s really all about the home screen. Uber needs to be ubiquitous to win the delivery wars, so it’s trying to train users to open its app many times a day. That’s why Uber Eats isn’t a separate app anymore, and why Explore is built in as well. Uber wants to be a habit, not a utility. And that may have started with rides, but it ends with Explore.
— David Pierce ( email | twitter)
Uber, the everything app - Protocol
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|From: Sr K||3/7/2022 5:04:11 PM|
|Uber Raises Quarterly Guidance on Delivery Growth, Ridership Recovery|
Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi says the company expects the coming travel season to be one of the strongest ever
Uber’s increase in guidance is driven by improvement in the company’s ride-hailing and delivery businesses.PHOTO: ROBIN RAYNE/ZUMA PRESS
By Will Feuer Follow
Updated March 7, 2022 4:38 pm ET
Uber UBER -4.22% Technologies Inc. raised its first-quarter guidance Monday, saying its ride-hailing business is bouncing back quickly Kfrom the disruption caused by the spread of the Omicron variant around the end of 2021.
The company raised its current-quarter guidance for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from between $100 million and $130 million to between $130 million and $150 million.
The company has pointed to this metric to signal that its operations are moving toward future profitability.
The increase in guidance is driven by improvement in the company’s ride-hailing and delivery businesses, compared with the last quarter of 2021, when a rise in Covid-19 cases disrupted operations, Uber said.
“Our Mobility business is bouncing back from Omicron much faster than we expected,” Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.
Gross bookings for airports were up 50% at the end of February, compared with a month earlier, Mr. Khosrowshahi said. He added that the company expects the coming travel season to be one of the strongest ever.
“We’re seeing healthy and growing demand across all use cases, highlighting just how eager consumers are to get moving again,” he said.
Shuttling people to and from airports is a major source of business for Uber. In 2021, 11% of its gross bookings involved airport trips. That compares with 15% in 2019, according to securities filings.
Uber also said demand in its ride-hailing segment rose throughout February, with trips and gross bookings reaching 90% and 95%, respectively, of 2019 levels.
Waymo is operating fully driverless robotaxis in Chandler, Ariz., and recently took a step toward offering the same to riders in San Francisco. It is a test that could provide a road map for Waymo’s expansion and help the Google sister company build a revenue-generating business. (Published 12/22/2021) Photo: Karl Mollohan
In the fourth quarter, the company posted an adjusted Ebidta of $86 million, beating analysts’ expectations. It also posted an 83% revenue increase to $5.78 billion during the holiday quarter. It was the second time the company had posted a profit on the metric since its inception.
Shares of Uber fell 4.2% on Monday, closing at $28.57, amid a broader market selloff fueled by rising oil prices. Uber shares are down roughly 49% over the past 12 months.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||3/24/2022 11:47:23 AM|
|Uber stock jumps on deal to offer New York City taxi rides in app|
PUBLISHED THU, MAR 24 20229:05 AM EDT
UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
-- Uber on Thursday reached a deal to list New York City taxis on its app.
-- As part of the agreement, two taxi-hailing apps will integrate their software with Uber’s.
-- It marks a significant reversal for Uber, which has faced opposition from taxi companies since its founding in 2009.
Uber has reached an agreement to list New York City taxis on its app.
Two taxi-hailing apps, operated by Curb and Creative Mobile Technologies, will integrate their software with Uber, allowing users to book taxi rides in the Uber app, the companies announced Thursday. Uber said it expects to launch the feature later this spring.
News of the deal sent Uber shares up as much as 4% on Thursday.
“This is a real win for drivers – no longer do they have to worry about finding a fare during off peak times or getting a street hail back to Manhattan when in the outerboroughs,” said Guy Peterson, Uber’s director of business development, in a statement. “And this is a real win for riders who will now have access to thousands of yellow taxis in the Uber app.”
The agreement marks a sizable shift for Uber, which has faced opposition from traditional taxi services since its founding in 2009.
It also comes as Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies grapple with a shortage of drivers. After a dramatic decline in traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic, ride-hailing companies have struggled to bring drivers back to full speed, which has made rides more expensive.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi teased last month plans to bring more taxis onto the Uber app, beyond New York City.
“I will tell you we wanna get every single taxi in the world onto our platform by 2025,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Taxis are already available in the Uber app in other countries, including Spain, Germany and South Korea.
Uber stock jumps on deal to offer New York City taxi rides in app (cnbc.com)
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|From: Glenn Petersen||4/6/2022 7:03:07 AM|
|Uber looks to create travel ‘superapp’ by adding planes, trains and rental cars|
PUBLISHED WED, APR 6 20226:43 AM EDT
Sam Shead @SAM_L_SHEAD
-- The San Francisco-headquartered firm announced Wednesday that it is adding trains, buses, planes and car rentals to its U.K. app this year.
-- Jamie Heywood, Uber’s boss in the U.K., said in a statement that Uber hopes to become “a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs.
-- ”Uber will not provide these travel services itself but it will allow users to book them through its app following software integrations with airlines, bus and rail operators, and car rental companies.
Uber is driving ahead with its plan to become a travel “superapp”.
The San Francisco-headquartered firm announced Wednesday that it is adding trains, buses, planes and car rentals to its U.K. app this year. The move is part of a pilot that could be expanded to other countries at a later date if it goes well.
While Uber won’t provide these travel services itself, it will allow users to book them through its app following software integrations with airlines, inter-city bus and rail operators, and car rental companies.
The tech giant, which may take a cut on each booking, said it plans to announce various partners in the coming months.
Uber said the integrations will help to boost app usage among its users in the U.K, who also have the choice of using apps like Bolt and Free Now. The U.K. is one of Uber’s largest markets outside the U.S.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s boss in the U.K., said in a statement that Uber hopes to become “a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs.”
“You have been able to book rides, bikes, boat services and scooters on the Uber app for a number of years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression,” he said.
He added: “Later this year we plan to incorporate flights, and in the future hotels, by integrating leading partners into the Uber app to create a seamless door-to-door travel experience.”
Uber also plans to let people buy Eurostar train tickets through the app. Eurostar allows travelers to commute from London to Paris and other cities via the Channel Tunnel.
The announcement comes after a recent win for Uber.
On March 26, Uber secured a 30-month license to continue operating in London, ending a protracted battle with city regulators over whether the ride-hailing app was “fit and proper.”
But the company is behind schedule on its “superapp” plans.
In 2018, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he wanted to add more transport options to the app.
“It’s fair to say that Covid made it a little bit hard for us to progress as quickly as we would like,” Heywood reportedly told The Financial Times.
In premarket trading Wednesday, Uber’s share price was down 1.6% to $34.40 at 6:40 a.m. ET.
Uber chases 'superapp' by adding planes, trains and rental cars (cnbc.com)
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|From: Glenn Petersen||5/2/2022 1:11:16 PM|
|Uber reports Q1 earnings on Wednesday: Here’s what Wall Street’s watching|
PUBLISHED MON, MAY 2 202211:19 AM EDT
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
-- Uber is set to report first-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday.
-- The latest financials come after what’s appeared to be a challenging quarter for the company.
-- Shares are down more than 26% year-to-date as inflation challenged consumers, the omicron coronavirus variant spread and surging gas prices weighed on the stock.
Uber will report first-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday and Wall Street notes to investors are providing insight into what investors might expect.
The latest financials come after what’s appeared to be a challenging quarter for the company. Shares are down more than 26% year-to-date as inflation challenged consumers, the omicron coronavirus variant spread and surging gas prices weighed on the stock.
Here’s what Wall Street is watching for this quarter:
Are Uber riders coming back?
Uber has likely rebounded from any omicron rider lows. In a March filing with the SEC, Uber said mobility demand significantly improved through the month of February. Trips were 90% recovered from Feb. 2019 levels. That led the company to raise its first-quarter EBITDA guide by $25 million at the mid-point to $130 million-$150 million from $100 million-$130 million.
“Contrary to most other sub-sectors of Internet, rideshare Q1 results should be solid on the back of resilient mobility trends,” Alliance Bernstein analysts said in an earnings preview. Investors will be watching for regional recovery trends, since APAC growth has likely lagged from an uptick in Covid. Its European market could also see an outsized impact from the war and inflation, the analysts said.
How have fuel prices impacted drivers?
As gas prices shot up across the nation due to the war in Ukraine, many feared drivers would flee gig work in favor of other jobs. Some delivery and rideshare companies struggled with supply and demand imbalances from the pandemic, so further strain or a setback could’ve hampered financials.
For its part, Uber implemented a temporary fuel surcharge. That’s set to expire soon, so investors will be looking for color on if that kept drivers and if the company plans to extend the incentive. Gas prices were averaging $4.19 a gallon on Monday, compared to $2.9 a year ago, according to data from AAA.
Still, a bulk of drivers believe that the surcharge wasn’t enough and some analysts say the recovery in driver supply has slowed. “We think driver supply and take rate risk is elevated, with our proprietary price tracking data indicating that ride prices and wait times were up in April vs 1Q,” Bank of America analysts said in a note.
Will Uber have to increase incentives?
As mobility grows, Uber may need to implement additional near-term driver incentives because of high gas prices and a need to rebalance supply and demand.
The company spent millions last year in an effort to bring back drivers as states eased Covid restrictions and vaccinations were widely available. But those incentives weigh on its balance sheet, and investors have consistently been concerned about expensive efforts to bring back drivers.
“For 2Q, risk is that Uber may need to add to near-term driver incentives to adjust for positive demand recovery and gas prices,” the Bank of America analysts wrote. Still, the incentives may not be as costly as in 2021, the Alliance Bernstein analysts speculated.
How far can delivery go?
Uber’s delivery business had allowed the company to withstand Covid headwinds when people began ordering more at home during the pandemic. In recent quarters, it appeared that the segment, which includes its Uber Eats business, has continued to hold up as food delivery becomes a part of regular life.
But how long can delivery grow? “Following a slew of estimate cuts across the cohort of pandemic winners, the looming concern is that food delivery will miss the mark in Q1,” Alliance Bernstein analysts said.
Uber said in the March filing that delivery annualized run rate gross bookings reached an all-time high in February, which means it may need to look elsewhere to grow.
“New customer adds are likely slowing, but we believe order frequency can still be a driver of growth,” the analysts said.
Uber Q1 earnings hit on Wednesday: Here's what analysts are watching (cnbc.com)
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (224)||5/4/2022 7:10:00 AM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|Lyft shares plunge on light guidance, continued driver incentives|
PUBLISHED TUE, MAY 3 20225:29 PM EDT
UPDATED TUE, MAY 3 20226:46 PM EDT
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
-- Lyft reported first-quarter 2022 earnings on Tuesday.
-- Shares plunged on light guidance and continued driver incentives.
Shares of Lyft lost more than a quarter of their value in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company provided light second-quarter guidance and warned investors it will have to keep spending on driver incentives.
Here are the key numbers:
Earnings per share: 7 cents adj. vs loss of 7 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
Revenue: $876 million vs $846 million expected by Refinitiv
Active riders: 17.8 million vs 17.9 million expected, per FactSet
Revenue per active rider: $49.18 vs $47.07 expected, according to StreetAccount
For the second quarter, Lyft said it expects revenue between $950 million and $1 billion. Wall Street was estimating $1.02 billion, per StreetAccount.
The stock fell 27% to $22.50 in extended trading. Should it open there on Wednesday, it will be the lowest stock price for Lyft since October 2020. Larger rival Uber, which reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, also plunged on Lyft’s results, dropping more than 9% after markets closed.
Lyft reported a net loss for the quarter of $196.9 million versus a net loss of $427.3 million in the same period of 2021. The company said its loss included $163.2 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses.
The ride-hailing company reported 17.8 million active riders, narrowly missing estimates. It’s also a decline from the fourth quarter when Lyft said it had 18.73 million active riders.
Lyft heavily invested in driver incentives during the Covid pandemic and recovery, which has weighed on financials. The supply of drivers had seemed to stabilize but as gas prices shot up across the nation due to the war in Ukraine earlier this year, some investors feared drivers would leave their respective platforms and companies would have to increase their incentives.
Lyft said during its analyst call it will be investing more in driver subsidies in the coming quarter, though it believes that will help “pay off in a healthier marketplace.” It’s unclear how much the company will spend.
Lyft earnings Q1 2022 (cnbc.com)
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (224)||5/4/2022 7:52:24 AM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|Uber reports surging revenue as drivers return, but posts massive loss on investments|
PUBLISHED WED, MAY 4 20227:04 AM EDT
UPDATED MOMENTS AGO
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
-- Uber on Wednesday reported surging revenue during the first quarter as the rideshare company recovers from its coronavirus lows.
-- Mobility revenues have finally surpassed delivery revenues.
-- The company reported a net loss of $5.9 billion for the first quarter, which it said was primarily due to its equity investments in Grab, Aurora and Didi.
Uber on Wednesday reported surging revenue during the first quarter as the rideshare company said it’s recovering from its coronavirus lows and wouldn’t have to put up “significant” investments to keep drivers on the platform.
The company appears to be on track to surpass pre-pandemic levels as travel accelerates. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement that April mobility gross bookings exceeded 2019 levels across all regions and use cases.
Uber also reported a massive loss due to its investments during the period. Shares seesawed in premarket trading after the report.
Here are the key numbers:
Loss per share: $3.04 (GAAP), not comparable to analyst estimates
Revenue: $6.85 billion vs. $6.13 billion estimated, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts.
For the second quarter, Uber anticipates gross bookings of between $28.5 billion and $29.5 billion. In addition, it expects adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of between $240 million and $270 million.
Uber said it expects to generate “meaningful positive cash flows” for the full year 2022.
The company reported a net loss of $5.9 billion for the first quarter, which it said was primarily due to its equity investments in Southeast Asian mobility and delivery company Grab, autonomous vehicle start-up Aurora and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi. Uber CFO Nelson Chai said in prepared remarks the company has the liquidity to maintain its positions and wait for a better time to sell.
Its adjusted EBITDA was $168 million. That’s up $527 million from the same quarter a year ago.
Uber’s revenue was up 136% year over year to $6.9 billion.
Here’s how Uber’s largest business segments performed in the first quarter of 2022:
Mobility (gross bookings): $10.7 billion, up 58% year over year
Delivery (gross bookings): $13.9 billion, up 12% year over year
Uber was reliant on its delivery business, which includes Uber Eats, throughout the pandemic. However, mobility revenues have finally surpassed delivery revenues. Its mobility segment reported $2.52 billion in revenue, compared with delivery’s $2.51 billion. Revenue strips out additional taxes, tolls and fees from gross bookings.
Uber reported 1.71 billion trips on the platform during the quarter, which is up 18% from the same quarter a year ago. Monthly active platform consumers reached 115 million, up 17% year over year. Drivers and couriers earned an aggregate $9 billion in the quarter, which is slightly less than the fourth quarter.
Uber said its driver base is at a post-pandemic high. The company expects that to continue without “significant incremental incentive investments,” Khosrowshahi said in prepared remarks.
Rideshare companies have struggled with supply and demand since the Covid-19 pandemic lead drivers off the road. Companies, including Uber, had to heavily rely on driver incentives to bring drivers back, which ate into its financials.
That seemed to be stabilizing in recent months, but the war in Ukraine caused significant hikes in fuel prices. Analysts feared companies would have to pour millions into keeping drivers around. Uber is likely to add more color on driver incentives during its earnings call that is scheduled for 8 a.m. ET.
Driver incentives, along with light guidance, caused shares of rival Lyft to plunge in extended trading Tuesday. Lyft said during its analyst call it will be investing more in driver subsidies in the coming quarter, though it believes that will help “pay off in a healthier marketplace.”
Read Uber’s earnings release here.
Uber Q1 2022 earnings (cnbc.com)
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|From: Glenn Petersen||5/5/2022 7:53:07 AM|
|Uber Reads the Road in Ride-Hailing|
Lyft’s results show it will pay for its defensive driving against Uber
By Laura Forman
Wall Street Journal
May 4, 2022 7:19 am ET
Unlike its rival Uber, UBER -4.65% Lyft’s LYFT -29.91% crash has arrived in Hemingway fashion: Gradually, then suddenly.
Both ride-hailers’ shares were down around 46% over the last year heading into their first-quarter earnings reports, weighed down by a broader tech selloff as ride-hailing recovery seemed to chug along at a much slower pace than many investors had hoped.
But the wheels fell off for Lyft Tuesday. Its shares lost over a quarter of their value in after-hours trading following an earnings report that showed active riders falling on a sequential basis, ride-hailing demand still far from recovered in some major cities and further investments in driver supply needed.
Added investments, including in driver supply, led to a second-quarter outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of just $10 million to $20 million—more than $60 million below what Wall Street was expecting at the midpoint. In a market that has recently swung from valuing growth at all costs to valuing profits, a weaker-than-expected bottom line was particularly alarming. If Tuesday’s after-hours reaction holds in Wednesday trading, it will represent its worst single-day trading loss on record.
Lyft’s commentary was so bad, Uber Technologies moved up its earnings release and conference call after watching its own shares trade off sharply in sympathy. In a report that was previously scheduled for Wednesday after the market’s closed, Uber raced to reassure its investors Wednesday morning it wouldn’t need significant incremental incentive investments to keep its own driver supply healthy. And while Lyft said its ride-share volume was still only around 70% recovered versus fourth quarter 2019 levels, Uber said trips for its mobility business were “approaching full recovery” versus 2019, while its mobility gross bookings had already outpaced prepandemic levels.
Citing recent trends, Uber also said it expected its mobility arm to deliver better than seasonal growth in the second quarter with total company adjusted Ebitda slightly higher than Wall Street’s forecast at the midpoint of its outlook.
Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday his company is “keenly aware” of the high value the markets are placing on companies generating and growing profits, noting its platform advantages, among other things, could drive competitive advantages and durable growth.
There are two key reasons Uber might be finding itself in a better position regarding driver supply right now. The first is that Uber’s multiple verticals are more appealing to drivers. Uber said Wednesday its multi-product platform strategy is differentiated from competition not only for consumers but also for drivers, “who can drive, deliver, or shop,” all within one app.
More likely, though, Uber simply paid more last year to make it more appealing. Recall last year, Lyft said its investments to boost driver supply would create a first-quarter revenue headwind of just $10 million to $20 million. Uber, meanwhile, cited a planned $250 million investment over the course of the year, albeit on a much higher revenue base.
As for potential go-forward expenses, it is worth noting that there are also downsides to being the Uber of all things in all places. Uber had an entire segment of its conference-call script dedicated to regulatory “progress,” facing various labor laws globally, some of which do not accept the notion of drivers as independent contractors as has been allowed for gig companies in the U.S. In addition to the financial risk that reclassification poses, the legal and campaign fees in the U.S. alone have hardly been inconsequential.
In the race toward sustainable profits, this week’s results could be an isolated turbo boost for Uber that stalls as the year evolves; or it could finally be the beginnings of the longer-term validation Uber has been seeking all along.
Perhaps Lyft just hasn’t been hungry enough.
Write to Laura Forman at email@example.com
Uber Reads the Road in Ride-Hailing - WSJ
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|From: Glenn Petersen||5/9/2022 5:43:32 AM|
|UBER tightens its belt.|
Uber CEO tells staff company will cut down on costs, treat hiring as a ‘privilege’
PUBLISHED MON, MAY 9 20223:18 AM EDT
UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Deirdre Bosa @DEE_BOSA
Ryan Browne @RYAN_BROWNE_
-- Uber will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an email to staff on Sunday.
-- “It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly,” Khosrowshahi said.
-- Uber will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis rather than adjusted EBITDA, he added.
Uber will cut back on spending and focus on becoming a leaner business to address a “seismic shift” in investor sentiment, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in an email obtained by CNBC.
“After earnings, I spent several days meeting investors in New York and Boston,” Khosrowshahi said in the email, which was sent out late Sunday. “It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly.”
Tech stocks have plunged sharply from the highs of the coronavirus pandemic, as investors fret over the prospect of an end to the era of cheap money that defined a historic bull market. The Nasdaq Composite recorded its fifth consecutive week of declines last week, its longest weekly losing streak since 2012.
To address the shift in economic sentiment, Uber will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege,” Khosrowshahi said.
“We have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big,” the Uber boss wrote. “The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back.”
“We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount. We will be even more hardcore about costs across the board.”
It makes the ride-hailing giant the latest tech company to warn of a slowdown in hiring. Facebook last week told staff it would stop or slow the pace of adding midlevel or senior roles, while Robinhood is cutting about 9% of its workforce.
Uber will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis rather than adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), Khosrowshahi said.
“We have made a ton of progress in terms of profitability, setting a target for $5 billion in Adjusted EBITDA in 2024, but the goalposts have changed,” Khosrowshahi said. “Now it’s about free cash flow. We can (and should) get there fast.”
Uber’s revenues more than doubled to $6.9 billion in the first quarter, as demand for its rides business rebounded thanks to a relaxing of Covid restrictions. The company has relied heavily on its Eat food delivery unit to boost sales in the pandemic.
Still, Uber also posted a $5.9 billion loss in the period, citing a slump in its equity investments.
“We are serving multi-trillion dollar markets, but market size is irrelevant if it doesn’t translate into profit,” he said.
Though investors are “happy” with the growth of Uber Eats coming out of the pandemic, the segment “should be growing even faster,” Khosrowshahi said. He added the company’s freight business is a growth opportunity that “needs to get even bigger.”
He ended the note with a rallying call to staff: “let’s make it legendary. GO GET IT!”
Read the full letter below:
Team Uber --
After earnings, I spent several days meeting investors in New York and Boston. It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly. My meetings were super clarifying and I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you. As you read them, please bear in mind that while investors don’t run the company, they do own the company—and they’ve entrusted us with running it well. We get to set the strategy and make the decisions, but we need to do so in a way that ultimately serves our shareholders and their long term interests.
1. In times of uncertainty, investors look for safety. They recognize that we are the scaled leader in our categories, but they don’t know how much that’s worth. Channeling Jerry Maguire, we need to show them the money. We have made a ton of progress in terms of profitability, setting a target for $5 billion in Adjusted EBITDA in 2024, but the goalposts have changed. Now it’s about free cash flow. We can (and should) get there fast. There will be companies that put their heads in the sand and are slow to pivot. The tough truth is that many of them will not survive. The average employee at Uber is barely over 30, which means you’ve spent your career in a long and unprecedented bull run. This next period will be different, and it will require a different approach. Rest assured, we are not going to put our heads in the sand. We will meet the moment.
2. Investors finally understand that we are a completely different animal than Lyft and other ridesharing-only platforms. They are incredibly excited about the pace of our innovation, how quickly we are rebounding, and huge growth opportunities like Hailables and Taxi. While they acknowledge that we are winning, they don’t yet know the “size of the prize.” Their questions run the gamut from, “Has anyone other than you made money in on-demand transport?” to “Ridesharing has been around for awhile, why isn’t anyone else profitable?” They see how big the TAM is, they just don’t understand how that translates into significant profits and free cash flow. We have to show them.
3. Investors are happy with Delivery’s growth coming out of the pandemic and see that we have performed better than many other pandemic winners. I must admit that was a bit of a surprise for me because I firmly believe Delivery should be growing even faster. The primary questions were: “Is Delivery a good business and why?” and “What happens if we enter a recession?” We need to answer both of these questions with undeniably strong results.
4. Investors who asked about Freight love Freight. However, less than 10% of them asked about it. Freight needs to get even bigger so that investors recognize its value and love it as much as I do.
5. Meeting the moment means making trade-offs. The hurdle rate for our investments has gotten higher, and that means that some initiatives that require substantial capital will be slowed. We have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big. The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back. We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount. We will be even more hardcore about costs across the board.
6. We have started to demonstrate the Power of the Platform, which is a structural advantage that sets us apart. As you know, our strategy here is simple: bring in consumers on either Mobility or Delivery, encourage them to try the other, and tie everything together with a compelling membership program. The advantage here is obvious, but we have to show the value of the platform in real dollar terms. We are serving multi-trillion dollar markets, but market size is irrelevant if it doesn’t translate into profit.
7. We have to do all of the above while continuing to deliver an outstanding and differentiated experience for consumers and earners. Whether someone is booking rides for a summer trip with friends, or a new parent relying on Uber Eats for everything from groceries to dinner and diapers, it’s on us to make every interaction excellent. The same goes for anyone who comes to Uber to earn. We responded to the pandemic by becoming earner-centric in a way we’d never been before. We are innovating for earners, thinking deeply about their experience, and putting ourselves in their shoes—literally—by driving, delivering and shopping ourselves. Because of hundreds of improvements in this area, people who want to earn flexibly are now coming to Uber first, where they benefit from our scale, diversification, and commitment to treating them with respect.
I’ve never been more certain that we will win. But it’s going to demand the best of our DNA: hustle, grit, and category-defining innovation. In some places we’ll have to pull back to sprint ahead. We will absolutely have to do more with less. This will not be easy, but it will be epic. Remember who we are. We are Uber, a once-in-a-generation company that became a verb and changed the world forever. Let’s write the next chapter of our story, working together as #OneUber, and let’s make it legendary.
GO GET IT!
Uber to cut down on costs, treat hiring as a 'privilege': CEO email (cnbc.com)
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