On the surface, it might look like Uber is heading off in two different directions as it readies for its earnings announcement slated for tonight (May 7).
On one hand, Uber announced today that it is “leading” a $170 million investment in Lime, which rents out electric scooters, electric bicycles and traditional bicycles, which seems to show that Uber is forging ahead, business somewhat as usual. (The ridesharing company was already a Lime investor.)
On the other hand, earlier this week, Uber said it is laying off 3,700 employees, while its CEO will not be taking a base salary this year. The ridesharing company’s move was the latest in bad news for the gig economy, which has been hard hit hard by COVID-19’s economic mayhem.
As reported by PYMNTS, there was talk earlier this week of Uber’s planned investment in struggling Lime.
In a letter to employees, Lime CEO Brad Bao said he was forced to lay off 80 employees, or 13 percent of its staff, due to the impact of COVID-19 on its business. It had already laid off 100 people as of January.
Uber’s announcement of layoffs follows the massive hit its business took from the pandemic. With most social distancing rules still in effect in the U.S., the ridesharing company’s business has nearly been put in park.
In response, Uber is ramping up other sources of revenue, such as its newly launched service, the Work Hub, for drivers who are seeking more hours now that ridesharing has ground to a halt. The Work Hub gives Uber drivers the opportunity to get some income doing work on Uber’s other platforms – such as Uber Eats, Uber Works and Uber Freight – as well as other options outside the Uber ecosystem, like Domino’s, Shipt and CareGuide.