SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Uber lost $2.9 billion in the first quarter as its overseas investments were hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, but the San Francisco-based company is looking to its growing food delivery business as well as aggressive cost-cutting to ease the pain.
The ride-hailing giant said Thursday it is offloading Jump, its bike and scooter business, to Lime, a company in which it is investing $85 million. Jump had been losing about $60 million a quarter.
“While our Rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up.”
On Wednesday, Uber said it was cutting 3,700 full-time workers, or about 14% of its workforce, as people fearful of contagion either stay indoors or try to limit contact with others. Its main rival Lyft announced last month it would lay off 982 people, or 17% of its workforce because of plummeting demand.
Uber brought in $3.54 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 14% from the same time last year.
Revenue in its Eats meal delivery business grew 53% as customers shuttered at home opted to order in. The company exited markets where its food delivery business was unprofitable, including the Czech Republic, Egypt and Honduras. But it added key accounts including Chipotle, Dunkin’ and Shake Shack, and it enabled delivery from grocery and convenience stores.
Uber’s bottom line was hurt when the value of its investments in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, Singapore-based Grab and others plummeted by $2.1 billion as demand collapsed in those regions.
Uber’s investment in Lime came as part of a $170 million funding round, which also included Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures, GV and other investors.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.