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For all the problems Uber is facing, at least one thing appears to be going fantastically right: its food delivery business.
During an appearance today at the DLD Conference in Munich, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he was confident that the company’s UberEats food delivery business was in a strong position to trounce rivals such as the U.K.’s Deliveroo and Germany’s Delivery Hero.
“UberEats is absolutely exploding,” he said. “I think we’ll be the largest food delivery company in the world this year.”
At the same time, Khosrowshahi didn’t offer any details to back up that claim, and Uber faces a tough field of well-funded rivals in a space that has been brutally competitive and spectacularly unprofitable. He also didn’t address a report from earlier in the day that Uber had acquired, Ando, a delivery-only restaurant that makes its own food, for an undisclosed sum.
“We’ve worked with Uber to power our delivery from the start, and we’re excited our team and technology will play a role in their vision of building the world’s leading food delivery service going forward,” Ando wrote on its website.
The report on Uber’s overall business isn’t quite as good. When asked what’s not going well, Khosrowshahi replied:
“The part that is not going well is the profitability part. This has been a business tuned for growth, and not for efficiency.”
He declined to put a timetable on when Uber might reach profitability. But he emphasized that as part of his push for slower, more responsible growth, getting to break even would be a higher priority than it was in the past under founder Travis Kalanick.
Khosrowshahi also noted that while he was excited about autonomous vehicles, it would be 10 to 15 years before they became a substantial part of Uber’s business. For now, expect some semi-autonomous vehicles to be “feathered” into the Uber fleet, but not in large numbers, as there are still far too many technical and regulatory challenges.
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