May 15, 2019

Uber's sliding shares should worry other cash-bleeding unicorns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber shares have inched higher since their first two days of dismal trading, but not nearly to the point of making all of the company's private investors whole.

Why it matters: That has got to worry other money-losing "unicorns" that operate in similar sectors.

In descending order of fear factor:

  • Micro-mobility: Bird, Lime.
    • Judging by how the public markets have treated Lyft even worse than Uber, it suggests that they are most skeptical of the "ride" story.
  • Other ride-hail: Didi Chuxing, Grab, Ola.
    • Foreign markets change the math a bit, and some of these companies have significant diversification into other areas (such as Grab Finance).
  • On-demand delivery: DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates.
    • These companies insist their have better unit economics than ride-hail, because their marketplaces are three-sided instead of two-sided. Their big question is how much value the public markets are ascribing to Uber EATS.

Of the aforementioned, only Didi and Postmates are believed to be planning 2019 IPOs. But that means many of the others will seek out new rounds of growth capital, likely from the same investors who are currently taking baths on Uber and Lyft.

If these companies' most recent financings were benchmarked to Uber's valuation, at least in part, then we could be in for a series of high-profile down-rounds. Or orphaned unicorns. These things have a tendency to feed on themselves.

The bottom line: Uber's coat-tails may have frayed.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The European Union is considering an $826 billion coronavirus rescue package to fund recovery efforts for all member states, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

By the numbers: More than 5.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 355,500 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 15.1 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.