- Uber saw record demand for its ride-hailing services in March, it said Monday
- The company also hit another record for its delivery services.
- Uber faces some difficulty finding drivers to meet post-pandemic demand for its services.
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Uber on Monday revealed record bookings for the month of March 2021, fueled by an resurgence in travel as pandemic restrictions around the world slowly begin to slip away.
The company, which lost nearly $6.8 billion last year, said in a regulatory filing that March bookings were up 9% month-over-month to the highest level in company history. As a result, the company believes it can still become profitable by the end of 2021 on an adjusted EBITDA basis.
Uber’s ride-hailing service was hit hard by the pandemic last year as lockdowns diminished the need for trips, a rut that was in large part buttressed by an intense focus on food delivery. Uber’ Eats also set a record last month, spiking over 150% year-over-year and hitting a record annual run rate of $52 billion last month.
The increase in booking in the past month has been largely fueled by optimism surrounding increased vaccination in the US and could be a sign things might be starting to return to normal.
“As vaccination rates increase in the United States, we are observing that consumer demand for Mobility is recovering faster than driver availability, and consumer demand for Delivery continues to exceed courier availability,” the company said.
Uber’s stock rose on the news of a rebound in recovery on Monday, climbing as much as 4% in early trading Monday following the disclosure.
The need for ride-hailing services is also setting up a potential shortage of drivers for Uber and competitors like Lyft.
Just last week, Uber announced that it plans to spend $250 million on incentives and guarantees for drivers. The move is a part of an effort to get more drivers back on the road following a shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2020, many drivers stopped driving because they couldn’t count on getting enough trips to make it worth their time. In 2021, there are more riders requesting trips than there are drivers available to give them—making it a great time to be a driver,” Dennis Cinelli, the head of Uber’s US and Canada ride-hailing business, said in a blog post.