Since debuting on the stock market in 2019, Uber has failed to present investors with a steady positive revenue stream.
Many of your expenses, apart from going on drivers, are also lost in different technology and development projects
Also, the company a few years ago began an aggressive expansion and diversification plan, spending millions on startups and rivals.
When Uber took over Postmates last year, it didn’t just buy one of its biggest rivals in the delivery space. It also happened to have control of many of the projects in which that technology was working at the time. Among them is Postmates X, a unit that aims to develop robots for making deliveries. But now it seems that the leading shared taxi and food delivery platform doesn’t want it.
At least that’s what TechCrunch points out. Various internal sources at Postmates X have revealed that the Uber unit is seeking outside investors. The idea of the project is for the brand to become an independent brand. The new startup would be named Serve Robotics, in honor of the Serve robot that was developed by this unit. The device is expected to actually become the centerpiece of the future company’s long-term business strategy.
Notably, Postmates X’s plan for independence would not imply a complete break with Uber. Serve Robotics wouldn’t just keep all of its internal leadership intact. Dara Khosrowshahi’s brand would still have a stake in the new startup. Also, they are still expected to maintain a business relationship in the long term. It should be noted that getting rid of this unit is in line with the taxi app’s plans to further simplify your business.
The promising market for autonomous robots
By letting Postmates X go, Uber could be making a mistake in the long run. And there are very important expectations for the development of autonomous robots in the future. According to The Courier, the industry should more than double by 2026, considering the size of the industry in 2018. For that year, it barely posted a profit of $ 6.156 billion. Halfway through the decade, it should exceed 17,748 million dollars in the world.
In addition, one of the great economic problems of Uber is precisely in the high costs of labor, both in delivery and in shared taxis. Since 2018, agents such as the Wall Street Journal warned that the company did not keep the vast majority of the money it obtained from customers. And a fairly significant part of this income is lost in compensation, incentives and protections for its driving partners.
And there are several agents who agree that Uber could benefit greatly from those technologies that allow it to significantly reduce its operating costs. According to CNBC, many investors and specialists are convinced that the only way in which the mobility app can be profitable is with autonomous driving. As robots are the counterpart of this technology in delivery, this could be a not very prudent decision.
Is Uber going too far in restructuring its business?
It should be noted that this is not the first time that Dara Khosrowshahi and her team have announced that one of their business units will no longer be part of their organization. In October 2020, for example, it was announced that Uber would be shelving its Elevate unit, which was intended to explore (and exploit) autonomous urban air traffic. In the end, similar to what is going to happen with Postmates X, the decision comes down to a matter of reducing additional expenses.
Another similar case is precisely in Uber’s ambitions in autonomous driving. Although the company has not yet said that it would let go of ATG, its internal unit specialized in this technology, it did reaffirm that it is open to finding allies in the future. This, with the intention of making its extensive fleet of vehicles available to technology companies that have developed viable software. This way you could get the benefits of the sector, without the big investment.