Uber warns at the risk factors section of its filing that it has “incurred substantial losses and expects its operating expenses to “increase in the future. ”
In 2018, Uber made $997 million, thanks to some one time impact of selling its companies. The year before it dropped $4 billion. From 2014 through 2018, the five years for which Uber reported financial data, the company dropped a cumulative $6.8 billion.
Research and development: A lesser but still substantial expense for Uber is development and research, which includes the firm ’s efforts to come up with self-driving cars through its Advanced Technologies Group. In 2018, Uber spent $1.5 billion on research and development, or 13 percent of earnings, up from $1.2 billion in 2017.

Uber Technologies Inc. today revealed its registration announcement for an initial public offering (IPO) widely expected to value the company at $100 billion or more. The submitting makes clear the huge losses Uber gathered on the road with particulars previously shared by investors and a small group of press.

Amazon is everyone’s case.
These losses are on a different scale from losses we’ve seen before. Pets.com, one of the bubbliest businesses of this dot-com bubble, dropped about $150 million from as it was set in 1999 to when it fell in late 2000. Webvan, another poster kid, lost $610 million in 1998.
Sales and promotion: While many driver promotions go into price of earnings, rider discounts go into Uber’s next most significant investment, sales and advertising. In 2018, Uber spent $3.2 billion, or 28% of revenue, on this category, up $627 million or 25 percent from the preceding year. The business attributed this growth to $1.4 billion in reductions, discounts, refunds, and credits for customers, up from $949 million in 2017. Uber also puts motorist referral bonuses into marketing and sales, and decreased that cost from $199 million in 2018, to $136 million in 2017.
We may not reach maturity,” Uber writes. This sort of boilerplate disclaimer is increasingly common as more personal technology companies pursue IPOs without ever turning a profit. (Uber has reported a gain in exactly one quarter, the first of 2018, thanks to the effect of selling two international business units to rivals.)

Cost of revenue: Uber’s largest price is cost of revenue, a class that includes insurance costs related to ride-hailing, incentives paid to motorists, and costs incurred with carriers for the Uber Freight trucking platform. In 2018, Uber spent $5.6 billion, or 50 percent of its revenue, on this category. ” Uber clarifies these incentives as any amount paid to a driver that exceeds the earnings earned by this driver (for instance, if a motorist ’s earnings from a trip exceed the fare for this trip). Motorist incentives that were excess jumped by roughly $300 million in 2018 by the previous yeardue to Uber Eats.

Amazon, the patron saint of money-losing businesses, lost a combined $2.8 billion on its first 17 quarters as a public company, approximately on par with what Uber dropped in 2015 alone. (Amazon, for the record, making quite a great deal of money, with $3 billion in profit in its latest quarter.)

Where’s Uber’s cash going?