After nine years in Africa, Uber records 1 billion rides

Uber hits 1 billion rides in Africa after nine years of presence on the continent - Startup Lagos

Uber hits over 1 billion rides after about nine years of its presence in Africa. This also implies that the company has covered over 10 billion kilometres of distance in its services across the continent whether through its ride-hailing or food delivery services.

Uber’s compelling business strategy

Ride-hailing platform, Uber, is renowned across global markets for its dynamic business strategy tailored around ease of booking cabs, safety, and convenience. The company’s business strategy is airtight as it utilizes a multisided platform business model that helps connects drivers, on the supply side, to passengers, on the demand side, while offering cheaper transportation for its users and the value of additional income for its drivers. Revolutionizing urban transportation the company is making it easier for people to commute within cities.

Its compelling business model is what has proven itself in its success in terms of revenue. In 2018, the company announced that it had completed over 10 billion trips around the world, including Uber rides and UberEats food deliveries. The company’s strategies have, however, failed under the heat of COVID-19 as its stocks continue to tank. The food delivery arm seems to have only registered significant success in the wake of the pandemic’s restrictions as people preferred to order food online.

With its interest in growing its global footprints, the company launched in Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September of 2013, a continent with significant transport infrastructure gaps. There was a huge opportunity here for its growth and impact. Presently the company has its presence in over 11 cities in Africa, in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and South Africa.

Within the past year, Uber has established its presence in over 30 cities across the globe, with twenty-one cities in South Africa, one of its most promising markets, four cities each in Kenya and Nigeria, and two in Ghana. Along with ride-hailing, the company also has its food delivery arm, UberEats which launched in South Africa in 2016 with just about 1,000 restaurants, and a clientele of 8,000 merchants across over 36 cities in both South Africa and Kenya.

1 billion trips in Africa

Recently, in its growth report, the company has announced it has crossed the 1 billion mark in trips across the continent, with over 10 billion kilometers of distance covered. This milestone is remarkable for the ride-hailing giant, coming just after about nine years of presence on the African continent.

As Lorraine Onduru, Head of Communications for East and West Africa for the company said in a statement shared with Techcrunch,

“Since entering the market in 2013, we have created over 6 million economic opportunities in over 50 cities across SSA that we are present in.”

Collectively, according to the statement, both Uber and Uber Eats have reached over 30 million riders and eaters in sub-Saharan Africa. This is remarkable growth from 2017 when the company services just had under 2 million riders.

The report further details the most popular time that users make requests for rides on the continent as 2 p.m. (WAT); the most popular days for user requests as Fridays, and the average trip time is 24 minutes.

The company’s first-quarter earnings report shows that the company had doubled revenue to over $6.9 billion when compared with the first quarter of last year. However, the company recorded a $5.9 billion loss for the quarter, attributable to the heavy spending made on equity investments, and stakes in Grab, Aurora, and Didi.

Uber: An enduring drive towards profitability

As the company looks at ways of reviving its economic situation, there is significant hope, especially in light of this good news. The company is keen on reducing spending on hiring, in order to cut costs. It hopes that through this cost-reduction strategy it is able to balance its overhead spending with the topline growth in revenue that is recording especially in markets where it is performing phenomenally.

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