Uber lists competitors such as Alphabet and Amazon and addresses past scandals in its filing to go public

Key Points
  • In an IPO prospectus today, Uber listed companies it considers major potential competitors, including: Amazon, Apple, DHL, Didi, GrubHub, Lyft and Tesla.
  • The dominant ride-hailing company in the U.S., Uber is expected to go public later this year.
  • Uber's business goes beyond transportation as a service and includes food delivery, freight and driverless vehicle technology.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019.
Adam Galica | CNBC

In a financial filing from Uber today, the company named competitors to its myriad business, ranging from startups like Zoox and DoorDash, to tech titans like Apple, Alphabet and Amazon.

Uber named the following direct competitors...

  • Ride-hailing companies: Lyft, Ola, Careem, Didi, Taxify and Yandex.Taxi
  • Personal mobility businesses: Motivate (owned by Lyft), Lime, Bird and Skip
  • Food delivery businesses: GrubHub, DoorDash, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Postmates, Zomato, Delivery Hero, Just Eat, and Amazon.
  • Freight: C.H. Robinson, Total Quality Logistics, XPO Logistics, Convoy, Echo Global Logistics, Coyote, Transfix, DHL and NEXT Trucking.
  • Driverless vehicle firms: Alphabet's Waymo, GM's Cruise Automation, Tesla, Apple, Zoox, Aptiv, May Mobility,, Aurora and Nuro

"Waymo has already introduced a commercialized ridehailing fleet of autonomous vehicles, and it is possible that our other competitors could introduce autonomous vehicle offerings earlier than we will," the company wrote in the Risk Factors section of its S-1 filing.

Driverless vehicles are important to Uber, in part, because its "business would be adversely affected if drivers were classified as employees instead of independent contractors," it disclosed in the same filing. And it's consistently challenging for Uber to keep drivers loyal to its platform.

Uber also spoke plainly about its losses to date and warned investors that it expects operating costs to increase and that it may not achieve profitability. As of Dec. 31, 2018, Uber had racked up an accumulated deficit of $7.9 billion.

The company also alluded to the wave of scandals and negative press coverage in 2017 that eventually led to the ouster of former CEO Travis Kalanick:

In 2017, the #DeleteUber campaign prompted hundreds of thousands of consumers to stop using our platform within days. Subsequently, our reputation was further harmed when an employee published a blog post alleging, among other things, that we had a toxic culture and that certain sexual harassment and discriminatory practices occurred in our workplace. Shortly thereafter, we had a number of highly publicized events and allegations, including investigations related to a software tool allegedly designed to evade and deceive authorities, a high-profile lawsuit filed against us by Waymo, and our disclosure of a data security breach.

Elsewhere in the filing, Uber notes: "We are on a new path forward with the hiring of our Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi in September 2017 following many challenges regarding our culture, workplace practices, and reputation."

Uber's risk factors comprised 48 pages of its 285-page prospectus for investors weighing the company's potential ahead of its IPO, which is expected later this year. Archrival Lyft's risk factors comprised 42 pages of a 220-page prospectus.

Lyft expressed similar concerns in its S-1 filing around its quest to achieve profitability, ability to attract and retain drivers, especially.

Lyft named the following direct competitors...

  • Ride-hailing — Uber, Gett (Juno) and Via, along with traditional taxi and livery companies, as well as automakers, including BMW, that have gotten into transportation services
  • Personal mobility — JUMP (owned by Uber), Lime and Bird,
  • Driverless vehicles — Alphabet's Waymo unit, Apple, Baidu, Uber and Zoox

However, Lyft's business is more limited in scope than Uber's. Lyft is only operating in North America today, and it is primarily concerned with moving people, not food and freight.

Uber files to IPO on the NYSE
Uber files to IPO on the NYSE