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Uber CEO: 'We're losing over $1 billion a year in China'

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Photo: Getty.

Uber has raised more than $8 billion from investors wanting a piece of the privately held ride-hailing giant.

Yet even Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, chides the “irrational funding going on” — and he’s not talking about his own company.

In a fireside chat at Vancouver’s Launch Academy, the city’s leading startup hub, Kalanick condemned the amount of money some competitors are raising to buy up market share, according to a report from BetaKit.

“You can get your butt kicked by others who are raising more money and buying market share,” he said. “So you have to find a way to contain the irrational when it’s happening.”

Kalanick is not talking about Uber raising billions to edge out Lyft, but his Chinese competitor Didi Kuaidi, which has raised more than $3 billion to defeat Uber in China.

“We’re profitable in the USA, but we’re losing over $1 billion a year in China. We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share. I wish the world wasn’t that way,” Kalanick told the crowd in Vancouver, according to BetaKit.

While Uber’s appetite for cash has shown no bounds, the company’s CEO seems to be weary of the continuous fundraising while accepting that this is how the game is played.

“I prefer building rather than fundraising. But if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share,” Kalanick said.

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