Pandemic continues to impact Uber’s mobility business in India

India was gripped by a disastrous second Covid wave during the months of April and May with most states imposing lockdowns and curfews to tame the surge that claimed thousands of lives.

By:August 6, 2021 1:17 AM

The pandemic continues to impact Uber’s mobility business in India. Even as markets like New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan within the Asia Pacific region showed signs of recovery, Covid-induced restrictions dampened growth in India, Australia and Taiwan, the company said on Wednesday.

“US and Canada mobility gross bookings were up 7% month-over-month (in July) and 76% recovered versus July 2019, while trips were up 9% month-over-month. EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and LATAM (Latin America) were nearly fully recovered on a gross bookings basis versus July 2019, while APAC was a mixed bag with New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan growing versus July 2019, but India, Australia and Taiwan impacted by ongoing or new lockdowns,” chief financial officer Nelson Chai said during the firm’s Q22021 (April-June) earnings call. In a statement, Uber said that while mobility gross bookings grew 54% in EMEA, 37% in US & Canada and 10% in LATAM on a quarterly basis, it declined 9% Q-o-Q in APAC due to the “severe Covid-19 outbreak in India”.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that in New York, London and Paris, mobility has made a near full recovery and as of last week, the total gross bookings in the cities were over 30% higher than July 2019. “I also want to acknowledge the Delta variant. Thanks to the incredible effectiveness of the vaccines, we continue to see GB (gross bookings) growth in our business from June to July despite the impact of the new variants. Where markets are recovering, our mobility and delivery businesses are emerging stronger together,” Khosrowshahi said.

India was gripped by a disastrous second Covid wave during the months of April and May with most states imposing lockdowns and curfews to tame the surge that claimed thousands of lives. Although the situation has now stabilised, states like Kerala continue to report high infections and office-goers who typically drive a major share of the daily rides continue to work from home across the country.

In March, Uber had said that recovery of its mobility business in India on Monday was being led by rider demand for low cost products like Auto and Moto. The company had last year laid off 600 permanent employees in India as part of the firm’s global downsizing exercise.

Uber’s overall mobility gross bookings increased to $8.64 billion during the April-June period from $3.04 billion in Q2 2020. Total mobility revenues grew to $1.61 billion in Q2 2021 from $787 million in the year ago period.

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