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Morning Report: Understanding Uber’s Newly Leaked Q2 Growth Rate

Morning Report: Uber’s financial leaks continue. This time the company posted 10 percent quarterly sequential growth. Is that a strong result?

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported the contents of a call between Uber, the ridesharing company, and some of its investors.

The call comes after Uber reported its partial fourth quarter and partial first quarter financial results to the media. Those figures showed growth in both quarters and falling losses in the latter. However, due to questions regarding the calculation of net revenue, the expense of share-based compensation, and other profit adjustments, Uber’s number become more opaque the closer you look.

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Still, what Bloomberg reported regarding the company’s second quarter is notable:

On a conference call with investors, Uber executives said gross bookings increased more than 10 percent last quarter from the prior period, while losses continued to shrink, said people familiar with the meeting.

That gives us quite a lot to work with. From our prior efforts, here are part of Uber’s first quarter numbers that our new information builds from:

  • In the first quarter of this year, Uber’s gross bookings totaled $7.5 billion. As noted previously, that figure was up 8.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Bear in mind this is not a revenue result.
  • And that Uber’s heavily adjusted loss in the first quarter came to $708 million, off just over a fourth at 28.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.

That Uber grew gross bookings 10 percent in second quarter is decently impressive, then, as it represents sequential percentage growth from a higher base. However, the company posted 28 percent bookings growth in third quarter of 2016, a result dramatically stronger than what the company has managed in the last two quarters. (Ten percent quarterly growth works out to around 46 percent annual growth if you were curious.)

Regarding losses, that Uber lost less money in the second quarter compared to the first is perhaps encouraging to those who have a vested financial interest in the company’s survival. But the loss figures that Uber has reported, or leaked recently, are very adjusted. So they strike only in the direction of the truth.

For fun, here’s how we noted the caveats in place for Uber’s losses for the fourth quarter:

And the first quarter:

If you discount for a massive number of costs that other companies worth dozens of billions of dollars take into account, Uber is slowly becoming less unprofitable. If it is making enough progress on that account as its gross bookings — which is far different than net revenue, mind — expand at 10 percent quarterly is up to investors to decide.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

WeWork said to raise $760M

  • Co-working giant WeWork has raised $760 million in fresh funding, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing unnamed sources. The new round reportedly values the New York-based company at $21.6 billion.

Toyota, Google form AI funds

  • Corporate investors are putting more real money into artificial intelligence startups. Toyota just announced the launch of Toyota AI Ventures, a $100 million Silicon Valley-based fund that will focus on autonomous mobility, robotics, and cloud technology. The same day, Google revealed that it has a new AI-focused fund called Gradient Ventures.

Revolut raises $66M

  • Revolut, a two-year-old, London-based provider of online international money transfers and other banking services, has raised $66 million in a Series B round. Index Ventures led the round, which also included participation from Balderton Capital and Ribbit Capital.

Austin dominates Q2 Texas VC scene

  • Second quarter venture investment in Texas reflected a common trend: Austin nabbed the most amount of investment dollars, while Dallas and Houston trailed far behind. Overall, Texas companies raised nearly $600 million, according to a Crunchbase News analysis, with total investment rising while deal count contracted.

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