|Bid||27.11 x 1200|
|Ask||27.50 x 3000|
|Day's range||26.93 - 29.15|
|52-week range||14.56 - 76.10|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||10 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||59.19|
(Bloomberg) -- Dockless scooter companies charged into cities in 2018, promising a mobility revolution with cheap, clean rides and billions in venture capital backing. Yet they soon faced roadblocks, including shaky business models, safety concerns, and fast-moving city regulators. At the start of 2020, cash-losing operators were shrinking their headcounts and vehicle fleets.Now as governments around the world fight to slow the coronavirus pandemic, micromobility companies are facing a deeper existential challenge. The two largest global operators, Lime and Bird, drastically reduced fleets by mid March. Several other startups, including Wheels and Jump, say they’re looking at how to continue operating as cities issue lockdown orders and demand plummets. The appeal of sharing a high-touch vehicle with an unknown number of strangers has succumbed to the fear of viral transmission.Lime’s CEO and co-founder Brad Bao wrote in a blog post on March 21 that the startup is “winding down or pausing” service in all markets but South Korea. Prior to the pandemic, the company operated nearly 120,000 scooters in 30 countries across the Americas and Europe. Bird announced it is removing its fleets in six U.S. cities: Miami and Coral Gables, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; and Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose. It had already pulled vehicles from 21 European cities.Jump, a subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc., has paused electric bike and scooter rentals in most of its European markets and trimmed the size of its fleets across the U.S. It stopped service entirely in Sacramento at the city’s request. Lyft Inc. has continued to operate its network of mostly docked bikeshare systems in eight U.S. markets. So far, it’s kept dockless scooters available for rent in all urban markets but Miami. Every company with vehicles in circulation said that they have heightened their handlebar sanitation protocols and are encouraging riders to do the same.The sudden disappearance of scooters and e-bikes comes after months of industry turbulence. Lime and Bird have struggled to raise money from investors, and both cut staff starting late last year. The companies, once singularly focused on growth, have realized their problematic business plans need rethinking.Last year, talks of an acquisition of either company by Uber didn’t pan out. Some industry watchers said the eye-popping valuations of each—in 2019 Lime and Bird hit $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively—were a factor. The Information reported on Thursday that layoffs are now imminent at Lime, as it seeks emergency funding at a valuation of just $400 million. (A Lime communications officer denied that layoffs are coming.) Uber and Lyft, both of which went public in 2019, conducted layoffs in their own micromobility divisions late last year, and both recently pulled dockless vehicles from several markets. Wheels and Lime say ridership was rising before the start of widespread social distancing. The decisions to reduce urban fleets now have been motivated largely by a sense of responsibility for the health of their riders and workers who maintain the vehicles, Lime and Bird say. The economics of the business is also an undeniable factor, said David Spielfogel, Lime’s chief policy officer. “If everyone is sheltering in place and not moving around, the business is no longer sustainable,” he said. Tourists, which generate significant scooter ridership in many cities, have also vanished from most markets. While there may be ways for Lime to generate revenue during the crisis, that’s not a priority while people are at home, and “governments are trying to get the virus under control,” Spielfogel said.Many investors, already skeptical about the viability of the e-scooter business, say the current situation could be the nail in the coffin for an industry beset by financial, safety, and regulatory woes. “I’ve heard a number of people compare the plight of the scooter companies to Uber and Lyft. Like them, scooters are seeing plummeting usage,” says Aaron Michel, a partner at the early-stage venture capital firm 1984 Ventures, which has no investments in the micromobility space. “Unlike Uber and Lyft, though, the verdict was pretty much in on the scooter industry before the virus arrived.” Companies without major backers will go under, he expects, while deeper-pocketed businesses will pare back to bare minimums.Emily Castor Warren, a principal and director of policy at the transportation planning firm Nelson\Nygaard and a former director of policy at both Lyft and Lime, agreed that the pandemic could be a death knell for scooter businesses with large overhead costs, especially those that were already in an uncertain financial position. “I think it’s pretty dire,” she says. “If these lockdowns persist, they’re going to have to, at the very least, undertake major layoffs to core teams, because the one cost they can’t bring down to zero is salaries for headcount and real estate for their offices.”The short-term outlook may not be so precarious for every micromobility company. Wheels, a startup that operates dockless electric minibikes in 17 cities in Europe and the U.S., raised $50 million in October in a funding round led by DBL Partners.The company announced on March 27 that it will roll out vehicles with self-cleaning handlebars and brake levers that can be used for delivery services and other essential uses, while its shared bikes are suspended until the end of March. The company has partnered with NanoSeptic, which has developed the self-cleaning surface. The technology uses mineral nano-crystals that continuously oxidize organic contaminants.Scooter operator Spin hasn’t felt the same capital pressure as some of its peers—it’s owned by the Ford Motor Co. Until this week, Spin was the sole scooter provider to maintain normal operations—in its case, serving 66 U.S. cities and 12 college campuses—but it changed course on Tuesday. The company will retain scooters only in Austin, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.“We have made the decision to pause our operations, as of today, in all other cities due to significant demand drop off as communities combat the fast-spreading virus,” the company’s co-founders wrote in a Medium post. “This pause will remain in effect until further notice.” Spin’s communications staff couldn’t clarify which specific markets would be losing vehicles, and Ford’s communications team rebuffed multiple requests for interviews with executives. Molly Turner, a lecturer in business and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and an adviser to technology startups including Spin, said the cities the company is continuing to serve may indicate where it’s had the greatest financial success to date. The markets Spin is pulling out of may show “where scooters weren’t a viable business or didn’t have enough penetration to succeed without the special partnerships or promotions that are impossible right now,” she says.That may be the case for all companies in question, as travel right now, no matter what the mode of transportation, has come to a near standstill. Several scooter operators, including Jump, Lime, Spin, and Wheels, are considering opportunities to partner with local governments or essential service providers as a way to continue operations, as residents avoid buses, trains, and other public transit under shelter-in-place mandates. New York City saw ridership on its Citi Bike system jump 67% in mid-March, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced social distancing guidelines. On March 21, ridership on the city’s subway, the nation’s largest mass transit system, was down 87% from the same time last year. Some investors view the decline in transit use as one reason for optimism about the mid-term prospects for micromobility. Assuming commuters remain skittish about crowding into buses and subway cars after the shelter-in-place orders lift, scooter and e-bike companies could take the opening to push for looser regulations and the reversal of the scooter bans ordered in some world cities, says Bradley Tusk, a co-founder and managing partner of Tusk Ventures and an investor in Bird. “With warming weather, better needs, and arguments for legalization and less saturated markets, [and] with companies like Lime contracting, there’s a legitimate opportunity over the next 3-6 months,” he wrote in an email.An additional upside could come in selling or leasing scooters and e-bikes directly to riders, says Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst, an early-stage venture capital fund that hasn’t invested in dockless rentals. “Right now we hate each other and can’t stand each other’s company, and getting an Uber or grabbing someone else’s shared scooter might not be the best idea,” he said. “But if you have your own bike, now is the time to use it.” Bird offers a monthly leasing program, as does the electric moped startup Zebra.For cities that have come to value shared micromobility services as a sustainable transportation option, subsidizing them may be the only way to secure their existence long-term, Castor Warren says. Some traditional docked bikeshare systems, including those in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., are owned by local governments but operated by Lyft. “In that model the city has more ability to ensure continuity of operations and ensure that service will be provided to the public, because they’ve extended their own resources, even if the bottom falls out of the economy,” she says.Such a scenario would prove what skeptics have said about dockless scooters and ride-hailing companies from the start. History has shown that establishing a new transportation service often requires massive subsidies from investors or governments.For now, even though they may be allowed to continue to operate in many cities, the scooter companies are going it alone. Says Turner: “They’re not getting a bailout from Congress.”(Updates ninth paragraph to include an announcement by Wheels on March 27.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Uber and Lyft may have paved the way for ride-sharing applications, but one small Canadian company is looking to take your commute to the next level
(Bloomberg) -- Isolated with his family at home in San Francisco, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has been making pleading phone calls to members of Congress. Khosrowshahi is asking for a bailout—not for his company, which has told investors it should have at least $4 billion in cash by the end of the year—but for its idle drivers.Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., the leaders of the so-called sharing economy, are suffering during the Covid-19 shutdown, but not in the same way as traditional travel companies like airlines or hotel chains. They’ve built their business models on offloading as many costs and as much risk as possible to their suppliers. Uber doesn’t have to pay salaries for drivers with little or nothing to do. Now it’s those Uber drivers, as well as Airbnb’s hosts, who have to worry about paying for cars and houses that are not generating income as they depreciate in value. The companies are hardly immune to the fallout from the pandemic. Uber has lost about 20% of its market value since the end of trading on on Feb. 26, and Airbnb’s board considered revising its plan to go public at a recent meeting. But executives from both companies have focused on drivers and hosts when working the phones to secure some government relief. Uber also sent a letter to the White House and congressional leadership. Airbnb penned a letter of its own advocating for hosts. After an early morning agreement, the massive bailout bill Congress is working seems set to extend unemployment benefits to independent contractors and sole proprietorships, bringing relief even to workers for platforms that haven’t been paying for unemployment insurance. In a letter to colleagues Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote that the bill "ensures that all workers are protected whether they work for businesses small, medium or large, along with self-employed and workers in the gig economy."Khosrowshahi has spoken to at least 10 members of Congress in the past week, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing private matters. Perhaps his most fruitful call came with Schumer, where the senator seemed to indicate support for protecting independent contractors, the two people said. A spokesman for the minority leader did not return a request for comment.As he makes the rounds, Khosrowshahi has been reminded that being the chief executive of a $45.5 billion company doesn’t automatically make someone a power player in Washington. When he attempted to bend the ear of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, Khosrowshahi was shunted off onto a staffer. “He's not even demanding to talk to the principals,” said Justin Kintz, Uber’s head of policy. “He's willing to speak to anyone on the Hill who is willing to listen.”Similarly, Airbnb’s three co-founders have spoken with more than a dozen members of Congress, making sure that U.S. hosts— who often file their taxes as sole proprietors—benefit from the bailout package, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing private matters. They’ve also enlisted thousands of hosts to urge lawmakers to include people who earn income by renting property on Airbnb in their unemployment protections. Airbnb also wants to make sure hosts are eligible for Small Business Administration emergency loans. While both companies are familiar with controversy, they believe they have a winning political issue. “To put it in a really fine perspective, 14% of our hosts are from households that include teachers,” said Chris Lehane, a long-time Democratic operative who runs Airbnb’s policy shop.Uber is the leader of a larger group of companies who have pushed the boundaries of traditional employment that also includes Lyft Inc., Postmates Inc., and DoorDash Inc. All of them consider their workers to be independent contractors, and don’t provide benefits like health insurance. Airbnb hosts aren’t independent contractors, but are taking on financial risk in much the same way that ride-hail or delivery drivers do. Critics of sharing economy companies have long argued their business models were creating circumstances that would make workers vulnerable during a downturn. By offloading risk onto workers, they’re also putting pressure on the governments to whom it will inevitably fall to support them. For its part, Uber has been arguing that states or the federal government create a new status of worker that is neither totally an employee or an independent contractor. “The company has been pushing for a third way for seven years,” said Lane Kasselman, a former Uber executive who advises startups. The vulnerability of workers now, he said, is “proof of what they’ve been saying all along.” Patricia Smith, who was solicitor of labor under President Barack Obama, said Uber was “taking advantage of a crisis” by pushing for a new legal status of work, predicting such a move would inspire other companies to push employees into situations with fewer benefits. “All you’re going to do is open the door to even more misclassification,” she said. While Uber is eager to advocate for its workers, it has not moved to use the $10 billion it had in cash as of the end of February to provide relief itself. Doing so could increase the likelihood the company would be compelled to continue paying out those benefits going forward, the company says. Uber has however said it will compensate drivers who suffer from coronavirus.Uber’s turn towards driver advocacy hasn’t gone unnoticed. “A little ironic, right? Uber has spent so much time and money fighting reclassification,” ” said Bradley Tusk, a startup advisor who previously worked with Uber but sold his shares. “Now there's all of a sudden an upside of people being treated as employees and they want it.”(Updates starting in the third paragraph to reflect updated market cap, new details to reflect status and content of stimulus bill, and Uber’s compensation of drivers with coronavirus.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Many Uber and Lyft drivers depend on the companies, but under U.S. labor law they do not have the protections granted to regular employees. Under pressure to ease the plight of its roughly 1.3 million U.S. drivers and food delivery workers, Uber has seized on the crisis to advance its campaign for a larger overhaul of U.S. employment law to permit it to offer more benefits while maintaining workers' contractor status, changes it has requested from state and federal lawmakers for several years. Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday urged U.S. legislators to use the current crisis as an opportunity to implement changes to existing employment law by creating what the company calls a "third way" in between employment and contractor status.
Even with Uber rides down 60% due to coronavirus, Uber's CEO sees multiple silver linings that will help Uber weather the storm—that optimism has sent the stock higher.
Lyft is expanding the types of services it provides through its on-demand transportation network in an effort to boost efforts to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced that it will be offering delivery of critical medical supplies to individuals who need them during this time, including the elderly and those living with chronic diseases, and that it will be delivering meals to students who ordinarily get subsidized lunches through school, as well as seniors. The new efforts are detailed in a blog post by the ride-hailing company, and also include expanding its existing medical transportation services for anyone that needs to get to critical healthcare appointments and treatments, while dealing with the extra strain put on the healthcare system by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an email to drivers, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said, "Those who would like to help neighbours get to grocery stores, workers to hospitals and caretakers to their jobs" can join a new "LyftUp Driver Task Force." Lyft said the service did not yet exist but will allow drivers to help out with direct on-the-ground needs in their community. The effort will start in the Bay Area, with plans to expand the programme across California and the country, Lyft said.
Uber and Lyft drivers across the country are facing the prospect of financial ruin, as ridership plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ride-sharing applications Lyft and Uber both saw share prices jump by over 30 percent, as the sector offers a promising forecast despite growing coronavirus concerns
"We are very fortunate to have a strong cash position with about $10 billion of unrestricted cash as of end of February," Khosrowshahi said on a call with analysts before markets opened. Khosrowshahi said in an extreme scenario where the rides business declines 80% for the rest of the year, Uber will still have $4 billion of unrestricted cash. While rides have tumbled by 60% to 70% in the virus-hit areas, such as Seattle, in regions such as Hong Kong, the worst was behind, and Uber is seeing the beginning of a recovery, he said.
Those expecting the U.S. economy to bounce back hard and quick after the worst of the coronavirus may want to think again. Yahoo Finance speaks with former Cisco CEO John Chambers about the crisis.
(Bloomberg) -- Ride-hailing companies are beginning to taking far-reaching steps in response to plummeting demand and economic hardships facing their drivers.In a bid to prop up earnings for existing drivers as the coronavirus freezes normal activity, Lyft Inc. said Wednesday it will stop adding new drivers to its platform in many cities. Uber Technologies Inc. said it slashed nearly all marketing campaigns designed to recruit drivers and is evaluating whether to follow Lyft in limiting the ability for workers to sign up.Spending on Lyft and Uber has been falling across the U.S. in the last couple weeks, mirroring slowdowns in other countries during the virus outbreak. Each company saw a decline of about 20% last week compared with the week before, according to Edison Trends, a research firm.The pause on new drivers for Lyft is going into effect immediately in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and other regions hardest hit by the virus and will be extended to other areas as needed, said the second-largest ride-hailing company in the U.S. For Uber, a major focus is on moving its drivers to deliver food and groceries, which has seen an uptick as more people stay home, a spokesman said.On Tuesday, both Lyft and Uber suspended shared rides, which allowed people headed in the same direction to ride together and cut costs. Drivers concerned about the virus spreading had been lobbying to remove the option, which didn’t follow social distancing guidelines from public health officials. A survey of drivers for both apps published Tuesday showed widespread concerns about declining income and a perception that the companies aren’t doing enough in response.Although both ride-hail companies have pledged to compensate drivers diagnosed with the coronavirus, that coverage won’t supplement the earnings shortfall caused by the cratering demand from passengers. With schools and colleges closing, companies mandating that employees work from home and official advice urging people to stay home and avoid group gatherings, service workers like Lyft drivers are reporting reduced demand and earnings.Spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said Lyft was “coordinating with government officials on additional solutions,” including federal stimulus dollars for drivers to help make up the difference. Lyft is also exploring ways to have drivers boost earnings by delivering food or medical supplies.(Updates with Uber news in the second paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. suspended their shared carpool services in the U.S. and Canada in a bid to slow the coronavirus pandemic by encouraging social distancing. Uber also said it would suspend its pooled ride features in London and Paris starting Tuesday night.These services match different passengers headed in the same direction so they can ride together and spread the cost. Uber’s offering is called UberPool, and Lyft’s is known as Shared Rides. Encouraging strangers to get into vehicles together is likely to be frowned upon as authorities try to keep people more than six feet away from each other.Uber and Lyft’s regular ride-hailing services and Uber’s food delivery will still be available, the companies said. Uber said Monday it would waive delivery fees for independent restaurants.Meanwhile, Airbnb Inc. said Tuesday it would pause its Experiences service, where travelers can book tours, classes and workshops, until at least April 3. Customers who reserved sessions during that period will be refunded.Airbnb, Lyft and Uber are all based in San Francisco. Residents in the city and surrounding counties have been ordered to “shelter in place,” a mandate that is among the strictest in the nation.Uber said it may adjust remaining operations as needed based on official guidance. Starting Tuesday, all riders in the U.S. and Canada will see a message when they open their app reminding them to “flatten the curve” and “travel only when necessary.”(Updates to add London and Paris suspensions in first paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Already an ever-increasingly important part of our daily lives, grocery and food delivery services along with ride-hailing apps are going to play a fundamental role in helping individuals enact government-recommended social distancing. This situation is only going to worsen many of these issues, and there’s a very real fear that the United States’ inability to provide the working class with a legitimate social safety net will only incentivize workers to continue to do their job while sick, further exacerbating the spread of the novel coronavirus, in spite of restrictions on gatherings and other attempts to increase social distancing.
The spread of the coronavirus and sweeping policy measures to combat it have led to a spike in online food delivery, but risks remain.
Stocks listed on American exchanges today fell sharply, erasing their Tuesday rebound and adding to their Monday declines. On a day that saw the World Health Organization declare that the spread of COVID-19 has officially become a pandemic, with 4,000 deaths reported from the illness so far, stock markets seemed more affected by the prolonged human and economic toll the virus could take than any stimulus package that could potentially offset its costs. For the first time in over a decade, bears overran Wall Street with the Dow down more than 20%.
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. tumbled on Wednesday as investors worried the coronavirus outbreak might be entering a phase where fewer people choose to step out of their homes, hurting the demand for ride-hailing services.Uber shares fell 9.4%, while Lyft plunged 12% in its biggest ever drop.“We could be entering a much more troublesome phase for Uber and Lyft where people choose not to go out at all,” Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said in an interview, adding that up until now we were in the sweet spot for ride hailing where people were still going out, though somewhat reticent to take public transit.The virus-related turmoil has continued to deepen over the past few weeks, sending stock markets around the globe plummeting. The crisis deteriorated further after the World Health Organization said Wednesday the virus spread was now a pandemic, while the U.S. government remained unable to detail any stimulus measures to combat the economic fallout.Meanwhile, travel restrictions around the world have risen. Airlines have canceled flights to heavily-impacted countries; companies have encouraged remote work and fewer business trips; and universities have moved to virtual classes. According to Uber, airport trips make up about 15% of its gross ride bookings.“As travel slows and consumers work from home/go out less, we see potential for both companies to see slowing ride trends in March through April, and that creates ride-sharing revenue risk,” Raymond James analyst Justin Patterson wrote in a note on Tuesday. The analyst said Raymond James’ survey work shows airports, nightlife, and commutes are the most common route types.The broader market meltdown is also bringing the two companies’ cash situation under sharper focus, as investors turn more risk averse.“I wonder if the market is beginning to worry about the cash burn implications if ride hailing activity drops significantly for an extended period,” Atlantic’s Cordwell said. Both companies have a limited period to become free cash flow positive before they run out of cash, and a few weeks of “little or no ride-hailing activity would materially shorten that time-frame.”To contact the reporter on this story: Esha Dey in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Courtney Dentch at email@example.com, Jennifer Bissell-LinskFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.