© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Delivery bags with logos of Uber Eats are seen on a street in central Kiev, Ukraine May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo
By Tina Bellon
(Reuters) -Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday outlined its strategy for growth and new business opportunities during its first investor day as a public company, saying it would improve algorithms to keep costs low and win new customers.
Speaking during an in-person event in New York that was live streamed, company executives said they planned to better fuse its two platforms – ride-hail and food delivery – into one cost-saving marketplace.
Since Uber (NYSE:) went public in May 2019, its shares have been on a roller-coaster ride, nearly halving at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, when the company’s ride-hail business came to a screeching halt.
Uber on Thursday told investors it has turned the corner and is set up for long-term growth and profitability as pandemic restrictions subside in many of its core markets, but its shares remain hovering at roughly the same level as when they first listed.
“We are emerging from the pandemic truly as an all-weather company,” Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said, referring to its ability to offset a drop in demand for rides with food delivery orders.
Uber on Wednesday reported its second quarterly operating profit and said ride demand recovered to nearly pre-pandemic levels.
Khosrowshahi said a better combination of its rides and delivery business would reduce customer acquisition costs – a metric investors closely follow in a market where companies have long competed by outbidding each other with costly customer discounts and incentives.
The company was also tweaking its algorithm to ensure more workers signed up for both ride-hail and delivery services, Khosrowshahi said, adding that it would improve driver dispatching and allow for higher utilization of each worker.
The CEO also promised an update on other new business opportunities, including a global peer-to-peer car rental network. Uber last month acquired Australian car-sharing company Car Next Door and Khosrowshahi during a Wednesday earnings call said Uber planned to expand car-sharing’s footprint.
Several automakers have exited the peer-to-peer car-sharing market in recent years, citing high costs https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-carsharing/daimler-bmw-exiting-north-american-car-sharing-market-cutting-in-europe-idUSKBN1YM2BI and the volatile state of the mobility industry.
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