Faced with rising inflation and consumer efforts to cut costs, gig economy companies are under attack from investors. The industry had just begun to recover from Covid shutdowns, and some analysts had expected a slowdown in food delivery to hamper any boost in travel rebounds. But Khosrowshahi said in a conference call with investors early Tuesday that rising inflation had had little impact on service offerings.
“We continue to benefit from a secular increase in the on-demand transportation of people and things, as well as a shift from retail spending to spending on services, and we plan to continue to profitably benefit from this wind of growth,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement. his prepared comments.
Uber said bookings in the delivery segment, which includes restaurant, grocery and alcohol deliveries, grew 7% from the same quarter a year ago to $13.9 billion. That missed analyst estimates. Uber also expects gross delivery bookings in the current quarter to be roughly flat compared to the second quarter. Still, the company is making more money from the delivery than ever before.
Uber reported 122 million monthly active platform users, a 21% year-over-year increase and surpassing Wall Street expectations. “Right now, you know, the market looks strong,” Khosrowshahi later added to the investor call.
Inflationary pressures also appear to be increasing Uber’s driver base, an area taxi companies are struggling with due to the pandemic. The CEO said more than 70% of drivers said inflation “played a role” in signing up on the platform. Overall, the company’s global number of drivers and couriers reached an all-time high of nearly five million, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
The company’s strong report (though not without some misses) sent the stock up about 15% in the morning, reducing some of its losses so far. Rideshare competitor Lyft also rose more than 10% in sympathy, while delivery company DoorDash gained nearly 4%. Lyft and DoorDash will both report financial results Thursday afternoon.
Investors will have to wait and see if Uber, which has pursued its “super-app” ambitions, is the only one to improve its financial performance amid fears of an economic downturn.