Uber's ride-hailing business recovers in Asia even as it struggles in India
The recovery in rides for cab-hailing app Uber has so far been led by Asia, excluding India, its chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, told analysts on a conference call on Thursday.

“Asia, excluding India, is in the recovery lead. We’ve seen gross bookings of Hong Kong and New Zealand at times exceed pre-Covid highs,” Khosrowshahi said, adding that ride recovery globally would depend on the ability of different countries to contain the virus.

Uber’s reported net loss was $1.78 billion on revenue of $2.24 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

Food delivery business continues to aid the cab aggregator’s overall recovery. Global revenue of Uber Eats doubled to $1.2 billion in the quarter ended June.

Uber had sold its food ordering arm in India to larger rival Zomato for $206 million in exchange for a 9.99% stake in the latter.

Nelson Chai, Chief Financial Officer at Uber, told analysts that the company’s food delivery business has picked up amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “Even in a market like India today, the unit economics are improving as we see through our investment in Zomato,” he said.

In July, Zomato disclosed that its revenue for the financial year ended March 2020 had more than doubled to $394 million, while losses narrowed to $293 million. It added that the Covid-19 pandemic had positively impacted its business in terms of cutting cash burn, with losses in the month of July are estimated to be under $1 million.

“Additionally, we realize the benefit from exiting India earlier this year and are seeing an additional 80 basis points benefit,” Chai said.

Uber’s ride-hailing business is seeing the slowest recovery in India compared to other large markets like the US and Brazil, according to a report by The Times of India, citing anonymized billing data sourced from Israel’s Superfly Insights. Uber’s India ride-hailing volumes have recovered by around 10% while it is at 39% in Brazil, 23% in the US and about 29% worldwide (excluding India), according to Superfly, it reported.

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