An ‘infection point’ is how Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has described the fourth quarter earnings and full year, which ended in December 2023.

There is a strong hope for generating more strong and profitable growth at a larger scale in the next few months. An average of 26 million daily trips have been recorded in 2023, proving that the popular e-hailing app is growing despite gig economy concerns. 

How did they achieve this? Uber has attributed this to “advantages” given by the platform and “disciplined investment in new growth opportunities.”

Highlights from Q4

Trips grew during this quarter, which ended on New Year’s Eve 2023, by 24% to 2.6 billion. That translates to 28 million trips per day on average. 

  • Gross bookings grew by 22% year-on-year to $37.6 billion.
  • Mobility gross bookings grew by 29% YoY to $19.3 billion.
  • Delivery gross bookings grew by 19% YoY to $17.0 billion.

Revenue grew 15% YoY to $9.9 billion, while mobility and delivery revenue grew 22% YoY to $8.7 billion.

There is an adjusted EBITDA of $1.3 billion, up $618 million YoY. The adjusted EBITDA margin as a percentage of Gross Bookings was 3.4%, up from 2.2% in the same period in 2022.

Uber Eats also outperformed expectations in 2023, as it “significantly expanded delivery margins through improved network efficiency,” says the company. 

“Even as we expand delivery margins, we are strategically investing in grocery & retail (formerly referred to as New Verticals), which also includes categories such as convenience and alcohol. 

Grocery & retail generated $7 billion of annualized gross bookings in Q4, growing roughly 40% YoY on a constant-currency basis. 

Uber layoffs

It’s been a tough year for the labor market, with layoffs left, right, and center, as the economy is still battling to recover from global shockwaves. Uber has laid off nearly 400 staff in various departments in the last eight months. 

Forbes magazine reports that Uber plans to cut more than 150 employees as part of its decision to shut down its alcohol delivery service Drizly. It’s expected that employees in Boston will not return to work from April 1 through September 1, according to a Massachusetts state filing. 

Less than a year ago, it also booted another 200 employees. 

Investopedia reports that Uber’s profitability could partially be attributed to “expense reductions, including layoffs; in prepared remarks.” 

CFO Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah has suggested that the job cuts might not be over. “We expect to demonstrate further operating leverage over the coming quarters through headcount discipline. For the full year 2023, net headcount was down 7% YoY.”

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