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$50 billion Uber is losing $20 million a year

Travis kalanick uberREUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonUber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber has traditionally been tight-lipped about its finances, but a new leaked document obtained by Gawker’s Sam Biddle suggests the $US50 billion company is wildly unprofitable.

That’s not exactly surprising. And it certainly doesn’t mean the company is in any grave danger. Many tech companies that raise a lot of money aren’t profitable, and many go public while they’re in the red. Just look at Amazon.

But the documents Biddle obtained, which seem to show Uber’s profits and losses for 2012, 2013 and some of 2014, suggest the company is losing a significant amount per year.

“Shock, horror, Uber makes a loss. This is hardly news and old news at that,” Uber told Business Insider in a statement. “It’s the case of business 101: you raise money, you invest money, you grow (hopefully), you make a profit and that generates a return for investors.”

Uber’s net revenue in the first and second quarters of 2013 was a combined $US32 million, according to the document, and its numbers for the second half of the year were about $US72 million, bringing its 2013 annual revenue to $US104 million in total. In this case, Uber’s net revenue is the amount the company keeps from each ride, not how much each ride actually costs with the driver’s cut in it.

In the first and second quarters of 2014, the documents show Uber generating about $US102 million, nearly as much as the entire year prior.

Gawker’s documents also show that while the company’s revenue has been growing quarter over quarter, its losses are also increasing. Its losses in 2012, according to Biddle, totaled $US20.4 million. In the first half of 2013 the company lost more than $US15 million.

A lot of the operational costs come from marketing, research and development, and administrative services. The company has raised more than $US6 billion from investors to compete in international markets like India and China and to push new products like its carpooling service, Uber Pool.

Another internal Uber document obtained by Business Insider from early 2014 suggested that an annual run rate for Uber’s top five markets (NYC, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles) would generate about $US1 billion a year for the company in 2014. And in some of those cities, Uber is profitable.

Revenue estimates for Uber suggested Uber could generate $US1.5 billion to $US2 billion of net revenue this year. There is no 2015 financial information in the documents Gawker obtained, so the data is a bit out of date.

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