Uber boss says company can be profitable within three years

 
Rebecca Smith
Uber wants excellent drivers to be rated at
Uber wants excellent drivers to be rated at "a different level" (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of ride-hailing app Uber has said the company can be profitable within three years.

Speaking to Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dara Khosrowshahi said the firm is becoming more efficient, though it will still maintain its expansion push.

"At some point we absolutely have to become profitable and that's part of the plan," he said. "I think that we'll be profitable before 2022."

Khosrowshahi said he did not want to name a specific year, but said "the core business, the ride-sharing business, can be profitable within three years".

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He also said plans are in the works to allow passengers to request drivers with higher ratings.

Khosrowshahi said Uber will "do much more with driver ratings".

"We want to allow the user to opt in to a higher level of service, because right now the only higher level of service that we define is a nicer car," he said, adding that the car and service "are two different things".

At present, customers can rate their journey from one to five stars based on how it was, with drivers able to rate passengers too.

But Khosrowshahi said Uber wants drivers who are "particularly good" and provide a higher quality service to be rated "at a different level".

Further detail on whether this would involve paying extra was not disclosed.

Regarding queries over safety, Khosrowshahi said Uber was "doubling down" on background checks and vehicle licences.

The chief executive, who took the reins in August, told CNBC the relationship with former chief executive and Uber founder Travis Kalanick was "fine but it's strained because obviously there was a lot that happened in the past that wasn't right".

Khosrowshahi said he thought the "moral compass of the company was not pointed where it needed to be".

Kalanick resigned in June amid a series of troubles for Uber and in the face of investor backlash, but remains a board member.

The company is seeking to gain back its London licence after Transport for London (TfL) opted not to review its operating licence in September, saying it was "not fit and proper". It launched an appeal in October, with the appeal hearing scheduled to take place on 25 June.

Last week, Uber announced it was introducing a cap on the number of hours drivers can work in the UK, with drivers forced to log out of the app and unable to accept rides for six hours after having 10 hours of trips.

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