With a “lacklustre” Wall Street debut, and now a $1bn loss, the start of 2019 has not been easy on Uber. According to reports, its failure to achieve profit is down to “heavy spending”. But the ride-hailing app has also had to face up to “fierce competition” from rivals, with San Francisco’s Lyft certainly giving it a run for its money. Perhaps that stinker of a Q1 is the reason behind Quartz’s struggle to comprehend how well, or in this case poorly, it performed. In fact, Quartz’s coverage on the numbers claims they are “so complicated you need a glossary of terms to get through a single sentence”. While the writer acknowledges reading financials is never a “breazy” read, there is a suggestion of outright deception: “Reading Uber’s results, your attention is constantly redirected, from actual figures to adjusted ones, from segment to sub-segment to sub-segment-level revenue reconciliations (a real mouthful)”. Uber Freight’s numbers, meanwhile, are hidden away under ‘Other Bets’.


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