Ride-sharing app Uber may have to turn to selling its vast trove of user data to finally turn a profit. Following the rest of the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe, Uber could reportedly profit from user data, which an insider described as “a wildly successful data collection on who uses it and how they use it and where they go.”
Reuters reports that ride-sharing app Uber may soon be forced to turn to selling its vast amounts of user data in order to turn a profit following years of slowed growth. A number of scandals have affected the company in recent years, as a result, the company’s growth rate slowed to 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, making the company’s annual $3 billion loss worrying for investors.
Uber is set to go public in one of the largest U.S. public stock listings since 2014, the company has now warned IPO investors that losses could grow as the ride-sharing business becomes more competitive. The company is set to price shares this week and expects to raise $9 billion on a valuation that could be over $90 billion.
Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, startup adviser, and Stanford University professor, commented on the future of ride-sharing stating: “There is no evidence the core ride-hailing business is profitable. Where is the next billion dollars coming from?”
Uber insiders are reportedly claiming that the answer to this is user data. Insiders stated that Uber has “a wildly successful data collection on who uses it and how they use it and where they go.” The person added that all of this data “can become profitable.” Uber declined to speak to Reuters about this claim.
Uber was forced to pay a $148 million in a U.S. settlement last year after a cover-up of a data breach in 2016. Breitbart News reported on the issue at the time, writing that:
The data breach exposed over 25 million Americans’ unencrypted names and email addresses, “22.1 million names and mobile phone numbers, and 607,000 names and driver’s license numbers,” which were taken from a “data-storage service run by Amazon.com Inc,” according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
But still, Uber is set for a huge opportunity with the upcoming IPO. “I think Uber has an enormous number of moves as a public company,” Steve Blank said. “They have a CEO who is exactly the right guy for the transition to Wall Street. All they could do now is screw it up.”