May 18, 2017
Alex Wilhelm is the Editor in Chief of Crunchbase News, covering the intersection of startups and money.

Morning Report: Uber Freight is here. But can it drive margin and not just revenue, unlike some other Uber experiments?

Uber, the troubled ride-hailing company with fast-growing global revenues, continued its product expansion today with the introduction of Uber Freight.

Ever in the public spotlight, Uber’s troubles are well known. Its financial performance is also well-detailed by now, even if there are certain useful performance metrics missing. As such, we know a thing or two about the firm’s Other Bets, as you might call them.

We note this because today’s introduction of Uber Freight raises two easy points:

  1. The new service could drive new revenue for Uber.
  2. The new service could incinerate more cash at the steeply unprofitable firm.

That’s to say that Uber is at a scale of losses that additional red ink for the sake of further accelerating its growth may not be prudent. And Uber’s secondary offerings to its core ride-hailing business has a track record of running impressive deficits.

As I reported in TechCrunch with Katie Roof the other week, following Uber’s most-recent financial disclosures:

UberEATS, [Uber’s] food-delivery business, has expanded to dozens of cities throughout the world. Based on a report from The Information last year, UberEATS was forecast to contribute $100 million in net revenue, but also contribute to more than $100 million in additional losses for 2017, due to the costs of incentivizing drivers to participate in this newer service.

What will Uber Freight cost Uber? Can the company improve its ramp to profits with new products?

From the Crunchbase Daily:

India’s Paytm raises $1.4B

  • Digital payments provider Paytm has raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank Group in what the India-based company says is the largest-ever funding round from a single investor for the country’s technology sector. The investment will go to One97 Communications, which operates the Paytm brand.

SoundCloud vulnerable as streaming war intensifies

  • Amidst a streaming war between Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others, SoundCloud’s prospects are dimming. The ten-year-old, Berlin-based company is facing widening losses and slowing revenue growth, according to a Crunchbase News analysis.

Google announces a lot of new stuff

  • Google kicked off its annual developer conference with a slew of announcements around Android, AI, virtual reality, photo management and even how you’ll find your next job. TechCrunch has an overview here.

FCC moves closer to dismantling net neutrality

  • The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to take the first formal step toward dismantling Obama-era net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. Lobbyists and politicians on both sides of issue are stepping up efforts to influence the decision.