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Uber’s loss continues in Q3, revenue and bookings increase

Uber, which is set to become a public company in 2019, reported its results for the third quarter of 2018. Uber once again reported a loss for the quarter, hurt by the new business investments. Net loss, on an adjusted basis, stretched to $939 million from $659 million in the second quarter. On a GAAP basis, net loss stood at $1.07 billion.

Uber Q3 2018 earnings
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Even though revenue rose 38% year-over-year to $2.95 billion, this indicates a slow growth compared to the growth of 67% and 60% in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018, respectively. Gross bookings increased 34% annually to $12.7 billion. UberEats’ gross bookings stood at $2.1 billion, up more than 150% in the prior year quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA loss for the recently ended quarter was $527 million, down 13% from the year-ago period. The ride-hailing company’s gross cash declined to $6.55 billion from $7.3 billion at the end of the second quarter.

Nelson Chai, who was appointed as the CFO in August, said, “As we look ahead to an IPO and beyond, we are investing in future growth across our platform, including in food, freight, electric bikes and scooters, and high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position.”

Uber’s Q2 revenue and bookings increase YoY

Like the rival Lyft, the San Francisco-based firm announced a rewards program, Uber Rewards, for its ride-hailing and food delivery business on Wednesday. Through this rewards program, Uber will offer perks to its loyal customers such as cash back on rides and priority pickups.

On October 2, the Dara Khosrowshahi-led firm appointed Nikki Krishnamurthy as its Chief People Officer. Before joining Uber, she served as Chief People Officer in Expedia Inc (EXPE).

 

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Microsoft is on a mission to make AI accessible to all

It seems artificial intelligence is the latest fad for Microsoft (MSFT), with most of the company’s expansion initiatives this year centered around AI technology, mainly through acquisitions. After more than two years of research and strategic investments, the company is currently well-equipped to provide several AI-related solutions.

Of late, a key area of its focus has been providing technical assistance to businesses for integrating AI into their systems, through open source tools and the Azure cloud platform where cognitive services are stored in containerized format.

One of the outcomes of the ongoing efforts will be the democratization of AI, to the extent where everyone would get seamless access to the technology. It assumes importance considering the growing concerns about the safe and ethical use of AI, with many fearing that unregulated deployment of AI-assisted systems could result in more damage than benefits.

Of late, the company’s focus has been to provide technical assistance to businesses for integrating AI into their systems

Being one of the most innovative among Microsoft’s business strategies so far, the AI partnerships will unlock significant shareholder value in the coming years. The focus is on facilitating AI-assisted communication on the digital space using advanced algorithms and a vast repository of data.

In the latest among the efforts to ramp up its AI prowess, the software giant this week revealed plans to acquire Austin-based software firm Xoxco, which is specialized in the development of conversational bots. The financial terms of the deal are not known. Earlier this year, Microsoft had added AI technology firms Semantic Machines and Lobe into its fold.

Microsoft pays $1.3 billion in cash in connection to GitHub deal

The company recently developed a special tool called Virtual Assistant Accelerator to develop conversational bots more effectively. It is estimated that by 2020, about 50% of the leading consumer-oriented enterprises will be using conversational AI to engage with customers.

Microsoft shares gained about 20% since the beginning of the year and 29% over the past twelve months. The stock entered a downward spiral this week and continued the trend Wednesday.

 

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