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3 Key (and Surprising) Takeaways From Uber’s IPO

It’s hard to remember a game-changing technical advance that has changed the public vernacular as quickly as Uber has. People leaving a restaurant now call an Uber, not a cab. Even if you are getting a Lyft or a cab, you probably still say Uber… For now, anyways. Lyft is making major waves in the public space.

On April 11th, the ride-sharing giant filed papers to go public, which unearthed a lot of interesting information that the average rider (or investor) may not have been aware of.

Here are four key takeaways from the paperwork they filed.

Their Number of Riders is…

Difficult to tell, based on the way they have reported things.

They were oddly vague about the number of riders that hop into their ride-sharing service. Instead, they lumped all of their riders and Uber Eats customers into one mega-metric they’re calling “MAPCs,” or Monthly Active Platform Consumers.

Based on their reports, they had 91 million MAPCs on Dec. 31, 2018. But they did not report any delineation between how many people wanted a ride and how many wanted a hot meal.

However, other data estimates that Uber has roughly 110 million active users, up from 90 million in 2019.

These are huge numbers, but Lyft (who is also going public) saw more than 100% growth in their total active riders metric in the year 2017, then added another 60% for 2018, which put them at over 16 million. Keep in mind, Lyft is only available in North America, whereas Uber’s reach is global.

Their Main Competition is…

Pretty much, everyone, it seems.

Their documents listed a fascinating array of companies that Uber see themselves as competing against. They started at the top with world superpowers like Apple and Amazon. They also listed other interesting competitors like Tesla and DHL. They then decided to cover all of their bases with scooters, restaurants, all grocery stores, meal-prep services and kits, and public transit.

It seems that if you provide food or transportation of any sort, Uber wants to destroy you.

Their Main Threat is…

Being forced out of the airport market. Airport runs make up about 15% of their current business, which is a substantial portion.

Major airports in cities like Barcelona, Spain, Buffalo, New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, Boston, and Philadelphia have attempted to strong-arm both Lyft and Uber from picking up customers at their airports. If these trends continue, they could be facing a big hit, as they are already losing ground to other ride-sharing platforms everywhere else.

Uber is in a delicate spot right now. Business is good, but they have had a rough ride over the last couple of years. They have had to deal with every type of controversy you can think of, from a massive security breach, to even more disturbing breaches to their customer’s privacy with the greyball tool, to very public sexual harassment allegations, to the #deleteuber movement.

Now that they’re going public, issues like these will be amplified even more.