Uber posts record gross bookings in March as ride-hailing demand picks up


April 13, 2021: -On Monday, Uber posted record gross bookings in March, signaling a pickup in demand for its ride-hailing business. The tech giant’s mobility unit was hit hard by the pandemic as lockdown restrictions led to a collapse in demand for ride-sharing services.

Uber said its mobility segment posted its best month since March 2020, with an annualized $30 billion run rate. That was up 9% from a month sooner. Its delivery unit reaches a record annual run rate of $52 billion in March, above doubling from the last year.

“As vaccination rates increase in the United States, we are observing that consumer demand for Mobility is recovering faster than driver availability, and consumer demand for Delivery continues to exceed courier availability,” Uber says. Uber shares climbed above 2% in U.S. premarket trading.

Last week, Uber planned to spend $250 million in a one-time “stimulus” package aiming at getting drivers back on the road. The money will go to bonuses for drivers, guaranteed pay, and onboarding new drivers. The plan came as states start pulling back some of their restrictions and roll out vaccines.

Last year, Uber lost around $6.8 billion, and there have long been doubts about if Uber’s business model works. But the company believed it can still become profitable by the 2021 ends on an adjusted basis of EBITDA. Lyft, Uber’s main rival in the U.S., makes a similar commitment.

Last month, Uber again classified all 70,000 of its U.K. drivers as workers entitled to minimum salaries and other employment protections after the country’s Supreme Court ruled a group of Uber’s drivers should be said as workers, not as independent contractors. The move is expected to lead to higher costs for Uber and could have broader ramifications for the gig economy.

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