Uber even considered a stock-swapping deal with a local company, as well as a pullout, Bloomberg reported
To retain its presence in India, a stock deal was favoured at exploratory levels, the report said
Uber refuted the report saying it is “categorically false”, while its CEO said there is no truth to the story
Cab aggregator Uber Technologies reportedly explored options for its Indian business, including a sale. However, the discussions came to an end after valuation of tech startups collapsed.
After realising its limited potential to improve its business profitably in the country, Uber explored alternatives and eventually reached out to several interested parties, Bloomberg reported.
As per the report, Uber even considered a stock-swapping deal with a local company, as well as a pullout. To retain its presence in India, a stock deal was favoured at exploratory levels.
However, Uber refuted the report, saying it is “categorically false”. “We have never explored exiting India—not even for a minute. India is as important to Uber today as it was when we launched nine years ago. We are serving riders and drivers across more than 100 cities, hiring Indian talent aggressively, and planning for the next decade and beyond,” Uber spokesperson Ruchica Tomar told Inc42 in a statement.
Meanwhile, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took to Twitter to reject the report, saying there is “zero truth to this story”.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown hit the operations of Uber India in FY21. It reported a loss of INR 334 Cr during the year as against a profit of INR 720.7 Cr in FY20. Its operating revenue also declined to INR 370.5 Cr in FY21 from INR INR 703.1 Cr a year ago. However, it must be noted that the sale of UberEats to Zomato contributed to its revenue and profit in FY20.
The ride-hailing company has been going through a difficult time in India due to several factors such as hike in fuel prices, cab cancellations by drivers, and growing dissatisfaction among consumers.
Due to increasing consumer complaints, the cab aggregators have also come under government scrutiny. In a meeting with representatives of mobility players last month, the government rebuked the companies regarding alleged unfair trade practices and also warned of strict action if they don’t improve their systems.
According to a report, the online taxi services market in India is expected to reach a market size of INR 61.59 Bn by 2024 from INR 29.75 Bn in FY19, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.60%.