Uber has competed primarily on price and, if Gurley’s comment about delaying the IPO to outlast “deep-pocketed competitors” is true it represents a move toward customer- and driver-centrism. That’s a long game, for sure, but I’m not convinced Uber is funded to make that strategy work.
The $500M investment by Uber in mapping this year, for example, doesn’t add to customer value. New services do add value, but Uber needs to emphasize price and value to differentiate itself at a time when price remains central to consumers.
Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley says Uber is still a long way away from going public because of the intense price battles with its competition.
“We have a large number of competitors who are very deep-pocketed, who have decided that their primary form of competition is just price. There are intense subsidy battles going on all over world. Those companies, when they approach investors, tell them, ‘Uber’s going to go public, and then they’re going to have to be profitable, and then we’re really going to sneak up on them with these discounts.’”