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TechCrunch reports that "Uber will become an ad platform, selling space inside its Eats app to restaurants hoping to lure in more food delivery orders … Selling ads could help it improve margins on Eats, where it only takes 10.7% of gross bookings as adjusted net revenue because it pays out so much to restaurants and drivers … The fresh opportunity in ads comes at a critical time when Uber is desperate to show its future potential in the face of a sagging share price that closed at $28.02 yesterday, down 40% from a high of $46.38 in June."

The story notes that Uber has a role model: "Amazon successfully navigated a similar expansion from marketplace to ad platform; eMarketer expects Amazon’s U.S. ads business will grow 33% this year to reach $9.85 billion, and claim 7.6% of the total U.S. ad market, which makes it the biggest search ad player behind Google."

Of course, TechCrunch adds, "Uber could use any revenue it can get. This quarter the company lost $1 billion, with $316 million of that loss coming from Eats. But Eats’ revenue grew 64% year-over-year, showing it’s increasingly popular, and could command enough user attention to make advertising lucrative."
KC's View:
Uber may have another problem to deal with. Last weekend, its CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, did an interview on "Axios on HBO" in which he referred to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government as "a mistake" that is comparable to Uber's self-driving accident in which a woman died. Needless to say, there was a lot of coverage of the statement, forcing him to backtrack, saying, ""There's no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a 'mistake' … I said something in the moment I don't believe. Our investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn’t as clear on Axios."

The reason the question was being asked is that Saudi Arabia is Uber's fifth-largest shareholder, with a representative on the company's board of directors.