Uber still not ready for IPO, says CEO Travis Kalanick
Uber Technologies Inc., the world's largest cab-hailing service provider, is not yet ready for an initial public offering, co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has said.
"I feel like we maybe just entered high school," Kalanick told Vanity Fair at an event in San Francisco. "It's the ninth grade. It's not time to go to prom yet."
This isn't the first time Kalanick has compared Uber to a school-going kid. At a conference of The Wall Street Journal last year, he had said: "We're like eighth graders; we're in junior high, and someone is telling us that we need to go to the prom, and it's just a little early."
Still, his latest comments indicate Uber is closer to going public than it was a year ago.
The entrepreneur also said he has not sold a single share in Uber, which is valued around $69 billion. Kalanick also spoke about Uber's ambitious plans to develop self-driven cars. Last month, Uber launched a pilot for driverless cars in the US.
"These cars, when they go into self-driving, you're now starting to become a robotics company. We're at the very beginning stages of becoming a robotics company," he said.
Uber is in a fierce battle in India with homegrown taxi aggregator Ola. Both companies are now looking at ways to become more profitable by reducing incentives to drivers and increasing rates.
Uber recently said it will increase its focus on India after selling its Chinese business to local rival Didi Chuxing.
"I think the better way to think about it is that in China, the government is involved in business in many different ways," Kalanick said. "When you go to China you have to rethink how you do everything, you have to start from scratch," he added.
Globally, Uber is still losing money. A Bloomberg report in August said the company lost more than $750 million in the April-June quarter and $520 million the quarter before, for a total loss of at least $1.27 billion in the first six months of this year.