Uber Technologies Inc. is looking into alternative business opportunities as the COVID-19 pandemic cuts deep into its ridership volume.
So far, the efforts haven't been enough to offset a sharp decline in first-quarter bookings — its first drop in the category for a quarter — and two rounds of layoffs at the ride-hailing company.
As a result of the downturn, the company posted a first-quarter net loss of $2.9 billion. In April, the company's rides business fell 80 percent from a year earlier.
"While our rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. "Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up."
This month, the company told employees it was cutting 14 percent of staff, or about 3,700 jobs, and indicated that more cost reductions would be conveyed soon. At least 40 percent of the more than 450 driver centers Uber operates worldwide will shut down, the company said.
Uber then announced May 18 that it will lay off 3,000 more employees, bringing the total to about one quarter of its work force.
In March, the company reduced shared services across the globe.
In April, Uber withdrew its financial forecast for the year.
Uber is assessing other avenues to make money. In April, it began expanding its Uber Eats delivery service to allow for phone orders. But Uber said it will end food delivery operations in seven countries.
Reports this month also said Uber is seeking to acquire food delivery service Grubhub.
With Alphabet Inc., GV, Bain Capital Ventures and others, Uber led a $170 million investment round into electric scooter-rental company Lime. Uber is transferring its own bicycle and scooter business, Jump, to Lime.