Uber’s CEO thinks Eats is a secret weapon in the ride-hailing wars

Uber is experimenting with the increased cross-promotion of its Eats food delivery service and its transportation offer within the company's application, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Thursday. Khosrowshahi said he feels comfortable trying this after discovering that when customers use more than one of the company's products, their commitment to Uber "more than doubles" in general. He also believes that it could help cement the company's dominance in certain emerging markets.

"What we really want is to significantly increase the percentage of our MAPCs [monthly active platform consumers] that use both products," Khosrowshahi said, on his first call with investors since Uber went public in early May. "Suffice it to say that we are beginning to experiment in a way that we can increase the number of clients of our trips [hailing] to those of Eats in a way that, as you can say, is not annoying, and in a way that is beneficial for our runners. "

He told investors that the company's transportation service is already a "very strong audience maker" for Uber Eats business. But he also said that 50 percent of Eats customers do not use Uber for transportation; The food delivery service is bringing new customers. "These are customers that we can then sell in the gaming business," Khosrowshahi said.

Uber is only in the "very, very early" stages of "exploring the many, many ways in which [the company’s] car trips can help continue to build [its] Eat business, and vice versa," Khosrowshahi said. But, he added, Uber has seen the first returns "very, very encouraging".

Uber's losses have only accelerated this year, as the company confirmed on Thursday that it lost $ 1 billion in the first quarter of 2019, after taking a $ 3 billion swim in 2018. The increase in Cross promotion of Eats and standard Uber services is One way the company hopes to stop the bleeding.

Khosrowshahi sees food delivery as a massive new opportunity for the company's business, despite facing intense competition in certain markets. In India, for example, Uber Eats faces multiple well-financed new companies. But in Latin America, Khosrowshahi said that Uber will be able to "capitalize in a unique way the synergies between the two offers, since we are the only company [there] that offers travel and Eats".

"It's a huge category, and there are some people who believe that the food category can be bigger than the category of rides," he said. Despite the many challenges it faces, Eats generated $ 536 million in revenue for Uber during the first quarter of 2019. That's almost twice the revenue it generated in the first quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, Uber's revenue alone they increased by 9 percent annually.

The goal of Uber is to become the "one stop shop for the movement of people and promoting local commerce in all the world, "said Khosrowshahi. Since taking over as CEO in 2017, Khosrowshahi has added scooters, bicycles, shared public transportation schedules (and in Denver, including the ability to purchase tickets) to the Uber app. That's in addition to the exclusive self-driving and flight divisions he inherited from his predecessor, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick.

"You only have the entire transport ecosystem in one application, all your information fully integrated, with a loyalty program below. We think it's a very, very powerful product, "he said," but it will take time for all this to come together. "

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