Uber has big plans. The ride-hailing service wants to ferry the world around in self-driving cars and on electric scooters, deliver our takeouts and groceries by drone, and ship freight via robot trucks. But first Uber needs to answer a big question: will it ever make any money?
This week, Wall Street will have the chance to ask that question.
The chief executive of Uber has urged employees to ignore “pessimistic voices” after shares in the company slumped again on their second day of trading since Friday’s disappointing stock market debut.
Uber’s hopes of a surge in the price of its shares have fallen flat, as investors gave the taxi-hailing app’s eagerly anticipated stock market float a frosty reception by sending the shares below their launch price.
Uber is seeking a valuation of $82.4bn, less than the $100bn it was hoping for, but still making it one of the largest IPOs of all time, and one of the most hotly anticipated stock market listings in the tech world since Facebook made its Wall Street debut seven years ago.
Good luck to those Uber workers protesting about wages and working conditions. They picked their moment to coincide with this week’s IPO in New York, in which the company is set to be priced at $90bn (£70bn) or thereabouts, and they chose well. You do not have to be a bleeding heart liberal to think something obscene is happening when Uber drivers tell tales of sleeping in their cars to make ends meet while the founder, Travis Kalanick, has his shareholding valued at roughly $7bn.
A lot of very rich people will get even richer when Uber goes public on 9 May in one of the most anticipated initial public offerings (IPO) to hit the stock market in 2019.
Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder, could see his 8.6% stake in the company valued at close to $8bn if the company is valued at $90bn plus.