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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Uber's gross bookings were up 17% in the second quarter, the number of trips taken rose 150% in the past year and its adjusted loss fell, according to numbers provided to Axios by the company. Uber drivers have earned $50 million in tips since the program started in late June.

Why it matters: Uber spent most of the quarter under the cloud of a well-publicized internal investigation into sexual harassment and other unsavory aspects of company culture, and ended it with the forced resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick. The ride-hail giant's core business, however, appears to have kept humming along.

The numbers:

  • Gross bookings rose 17% in the second quarter to $8.7 billion (and doubled from a year earlier).
  • Adjusted net revenue was $1.75 billion in Q2 vs $1.5 billion in Q1 and around $800 million in Q2 2016.
  • Adjusted net loss fell almost 9% quarter-over-quarter to $645 million and over 14% year-over-year.The $645 million is adjusted EBIT, while Uber's Q2 EBITDA loss was $534 million (down from $598 million in Q1). Uber's global ride-share business was margin positive last quarter, which is a flip from Q1.
  • Global trips increased 150% year-over-year, including 90% growth in developed markets and over 250% growth in developing markets. This excludes China, which Uber exited last summer in exchange for an equity stake in Didi Chuxing. It includes Russia, where Uber's recently-announced partnership with Yandex has yet to be approved by local regulators.
  • Revenue note: Uber is no longer reporting unadjusted net revenue to its investors, due to new guidance from the SEC.
  • Uber had $6.6 billion in cash at quarter's end, down from around $7.2 billion at the end of Q1.
  • Uber drivers have earned around $50 million in tips between when the program was rolled out in select markets on June 20 and the beginning of this week. For context, Lyft reported a similar $50 million figure for a 2.5 month period ending in the middle of this past June, but that was for a longer time period and for all of its markets (Lyft originally launched tipping nearly five years ago, generating over $250 million to date).

Recruiting tool: A booming top-line and shrinking (albeit still sizable) losses are why Uber, despite its myriad of problems, remains attractive to blue-chip CEO candidates like former General Electric boss Jeff Immelt. But...

What to watch: Uber still had a CEO for most of Q2, and its board had not yet erupted into the open warfare seen in Q3. Expect Immelt and others to dive deep into still-unreleased results for July and August.

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.