Uber is undeniably fast, a turbo-charged take on the "move fast and break things" axiom. But while raising capital as quickly as controversy, the company has also been losing money faster and faster. According to internal figures obtained by Gawker, Uber is blowing gobs of cash — perhaps more than expected — even as it expands and touts its $50 billion valuation.
An unaudited revenue and expense breakdown for the years 2013 and 2014 show Uber’s net revenue growing substantially, from $104 million in 2013 to $45 million and $56 million in the first and second quarters of 2014. But at the same time, Uber's losses were picking up speed. In 2013, those totaled $56 million, and in the first half of 2014 losses were at $160 million.
A second document revealed quarterly profits and losses from 2012 and part of 2013. Those are similarly marked by heavy growth and mounting loss. Uber lost $20.4 million in 2012, and picking up the pace, in the first half of 2013 the company had already lost $15.4 million.
“Shock, horror, Uber makes a loss," the company wrote in the shadiest comment ever to Business Insider. "This is hardly news and old news at that, It’s the case of business 101: you raise money, you invest money, you grow (hopefully), you make a profit and that generates a return for investors."
Still, I'd wager that these documents will resonate with (and perhaps dissuade) potential investors. Mere speculation about Uber's losses have done little to slow interest in the company, with a third document showing its astronomical investments,
But while Uber gestures down the road to a potential $2 billion in revenue by the end of 2015, these numbers could leave an investor with the impression that the company would have to accelerate growth to hit that mark. And isn't the Uber doing everything as fast as it can already?