With $1.64 Bn annual gross bookings rate, Uber India aims market leadership by year end

Uber India

In a recent internal e-mail, Uber India head Pradeep Parameswaran conveyed to the global chief execs & CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and CFO Nelson Chai, that the Indian unit has achieved an annualised gross booking rate of $1.64 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

As per the e-mail obtained by CNBC, Parameswaran claimed that by the year end, Uber will be the ride-sharing leader in India.

Although the annualised gross booking figure for the third quarter does not reflect the profit or the revenue, it does show that India counts for 11 per cent of the ride-hailing major’s global operations.

For uninitiated, gross bookings reflect the income of Uber before paying out the drivers, the final revenue from operations turned out to be around 23 per cent of the gross bookings in the third quarter on the global level. Uber Technologies, earned $2.9 billion in revenue from $12.7 billion worth bookings.

The company that was rumoured to be in merger talks with Indian-ride hailing major Ola (under the pressure of common backer, SoftBank), further emphasised that India continues to be a globally strategic market and they plan to heavily invest in the people and the products here.

Quoting several aspects of growth, Parameswaran in his e-mail goes on to tell the executives that Uber lite, a version of the app that works even in a slow network, has garnered 1.5 million users since launch.

UberEats, which was launched one and a half years ago, apparently grew 7X in past four months to capture 20 per cent of the Indian market already.

Keeping all these figures in mind, the Uber India unit that accounts for the cab aggregation and the food delivery business plans on doubling its engineering teams in Hyderabad and Bengaluru again next year. It had already doubled the team in Q3 2018 across the nation.

For its biggest India rival- Ola, this means a tougher competition in keeping the market dominance it enjoyed so far.

To further peculiarise the situation for the Indian startup and readers, CNBC reports claim that SoftBank does not expect to add money into Ola, while recently there were several reports claiming that the Japanese investor is interested in investing $1 billion in the company.

Going further, it would be interesting to see if Uber makes it as a market leader with Q4 figures available, and stays strong in the Indian market as it claims to be working on, or if this is a similar commentary to the times right before Uber sold its China and SEA business.

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