Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) Deutsche Bank 29th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference Call March 9, 2021 9:00 AM ET
Nelson Chai - Chief Financial Officer
Conference Call Participants
Lloyd Walmsley - Deutsche Bank
Hello. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to day two of the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet, and Telco Conference. My name is Lloyd Walmsley from the internet research team here at Deutsche Bank, and I'm very excited to welcome Nelson Chai, CFO of Uber to the conference. Nelson, thanks a lot for being here. It's great to have you.
Nelson joined Uber from Warranty Group where he was CEO, prior to that Nelson was President at CIT Group, and before that CFO of Merrill Lynch and NYSE Euronext.
Nelson, again, great to have you. I'll go ahead and let you make just some opening remarks for the conference.
Great. Lloyd, thank you very much for having me. First of all, I hope you are all managing through and staying safe and healthy. I'm sure we all hopeful for return to normalcy.
As many are talking about the past year, I thought I would reflect a little to. When I joined Uber two and a half years ago, my hypothesis coming in was it would take multiple years to build the processes disciplined and focused to operate a public global growth company at scale. And I'm very pleased with our progress.
The growth opportunity is proving out, the talent and focus of our employees on our mission and to build has been energizing. And yes, the lift on the management processes has been big.
And while COVID impacted all of us on multiple levels, for Uber, it served as a call to action. I remember in the early days of the lockdowns and the impact it was having on our ride-share business, which in 2019 contributed 50 billion of the company's total 65 billion of gross bookings. Last spring, it was down 80% at its bottom. I remember working with our corporate planning team at the end of March on our plan and then getting Dara and the leadership team to quickly pivot and go.
We focus on rightsizing the organization resulting in a billion dollars in run rate savings, set in motion a plan to grow our delivery business, and importantly focus our company across our freight, mobility and delivery verticals, which meant executing a number of transactions 2021 and all including selling our ATG and our bikes and scooter businesses, while investing in businesses to grow like Postmates and Cornershop, and really leaning into our internal capital process, which included exiting some unprofitable countries, all the while ensuring we have ample liquidity and a strong balance sheet to withstand the pandemic.
I believe when the business schools write their cases on companies and how they manage through the pandemic, Uber will stand tall. As we sit here today, while we still have to get to the post-COVID world, I believe Uber is well-positioned for growth and profitability in the future.
We are seeing recovery in some key regions in green shoots for Mobility business, and expect this people move again, they will press the app and go. And our Delivery business, which has benefited from lockdowns is now at a $50 billion run rate. That's right. That's the same size as our Mobility business was pre-COVID. Our aspiration is when consumers want something to get in the next hour, they were pressed the button and get it.
Finally, last week we announced the management moves. Sarfraz Maredia, who's been leading our North American Mobility business and is one of our strongest leaders has moved over to lead our North American Delivery business. Dennis Cinelli who worked on my team and let our strategic finance organization will backfill Sarfraz. We have strong and experienced leaders in the key North American market. And finally, the announcement of Sundeep Jain as Chief Product Officer signal our intent to work and build across our platform.
We have made great progress, but still have a lot to do. The company is well-positioned to grow our core businesses, including benefiting from the COVID recovery as we continue down our path of changing how people go places and get things with the press of a button.
So, Lloyd, open it up to you.
Q - Lloyd Walmsley
All right. Nelson, thanks for those intro remarks. For starters, let's talk about just initiatives or parts of the business you're most excited about for 2021.
Well, so first and foremost, I've been open about the company getting to EBITDA positive at some point in the back half of the year. Obviously, I talked to my opening comments about the number of different actions we've taken. And again, it's really just to make sure we had strong conviction and flexibility in getting there. And so, even with everything going on in the world, even with still some uncertainty around COVID, we know we're going to get there and it's something that the whole company is focused against.
Secondarily, it's really trying to continue to focus in and harness really the power of our platform in our Mobility and Delivery businesses. What I would tell you is, we spend a lot of time and Dara has as well in terms of setting the company up to where we are today. And we believe we're really ready -- and think about his focus a year ago, he's spending a lot of time around engineering and product.
And last fall we brought in Sukumar to be our Head on the team -- on the engineering side. And now the announcement of Sundeep. And so, as you think about what his role is going to be now, it's really going to be much more focused on working with the businesses, spending a lot of time with Mac and the Mobility team with Pierre and the Delivery team. My time, a lot of activity at the corporate level will be a little bit different now as we move into the next phase of the company.
And so, we're all very excited in terms of being positioned where we are and we're going to -- we think we're well-positioned for the future.
So, we now have February behind us. What have you guys been seeing in the business?
So, obviously, as you see starting to people move around, we are seeing improving trends. In February, even despite the disruptions, right, especially in the U.S. and a shorter month, our Mobility business was actually flat month-over-month versus January. And Delivery continues to grow 150% year-over-year, including M&A. Last week, our large U.S. competitor put out an 8-K, they got a lot of discussion about it. In the 8-K the thing that got people interested in was they talked about 4% month-over-month growth for average daily rides in February versus January.
So, we actually saw similar or better trends. So, if you look at our numbers and we report gross bookings, we actually had 15% month-over-month growth in average daily gross bookings for U.S. and Canada Mobility gross businesses.
And Lloyd, actually, if you look into the first week of March, we saw a 12% improvement between the first week of March and in February. So, we're starting to see that improvement that people are talking about. We believe as people continue to move forward beyond the post-COVID world, they're going to move and guess what they're going to move into Uber.
And then on top of that, as you think about it, our Delivery businesses continue to grow. And so, I know there's all this discussion about, well, what happens when, and so what we've seen at least is that people are starting to move. We're starting to see the trends improve across our Mobility businesses. And we're not seeing any slow down on the Delivery side of the business as well.
Now, I can't predict what the future is as we get out of the pandemic and the lockdowns, but at least right now, the trends are quite positive.
Okay. Well, thanks for sharing that update. And we'll come back to some of that later in our Q&A. But for starters, at a high level, as you add more things into the app, you start to look more and more like somewhat of a super app. Should -- how should we think about that? Particularly when we look at markets like Miami, where you've got a really full product, is that something that you intend to scale nationally -- internationally?
So, first of all, we're obviously in very early stages. Those who've listened to myself or Dara others talk about it, it's something we -- we're careful about edging into. Maybe because historically we were more on the Mobility side, on the ride-share side, and there's something about at least in the Western world, the streamline period about not having too many steps.
But obviously, as we continue to evolve and we see the power of the platform, you're going to see us continue to build, going to continue to test. So, we've seen that in a very short time period, really a few months old that we've seen super app contribute more than 10% of the Uber Eats orders, first time orders. And so, we're seeing some of the power of the platform -- even in the COVID world, we had 93 million monthly active platform consumers. And so, we're seeing the benefit of that. And so, again, I think what you'll see as us continue to lean in.
As you said, Miami is an interesting marketplace. And so those of you in the U.S., you've probably read and seen what's going on in Miami. And a lot of New Yorkers are visited and vacation. I was actually down there a few weeks ago and people are moving. And recently, if you look at our February numbers, Miami was like down only about 25%, 30% from pre-COVID levels on the Mobility side. And yet we were still up triple-digits on the Delivery side. And so, again, we're seeing the power of our platform play out. And so that's why I think we're pretty excited.
I think with Sundeep coming in and Sandeep was the Chief Product Officer on the Mobility side and now is the Chief Product Officer for the company, I think that does signal some intent to continue to build across our total platform.
So, in food delivery, you've said pretty clearly you want to be number one or number two in a market, or not be there. How do you think about that criteria as you enter grocery and other last-mile delivery, where in certain markets there may be strong incumbents?
So, first of all, we're not going to shy away from the site. I don't think that -- that's not who we are. But we do have to get good signal. We do have a relatively rigorous capital allocation process. We go through every month. We have star markets that will continue to feed. There's some that we want to -- that we want to defend and there's some we want to grow. And as you know from our actions, Lloyd, they're markets that will exit, if we don't think it makes sense, right?
So a good example would be the U.K. And so, you've heard us talk about this in previous phone calls where I -- we sat here a year ago, we were primarily driven or over-weighted, if you will, to McDonald's, which is smaller basket size, more challenging economics. And the team really took it upon themselves and they really built that local selection. We're number one in London, and we think we have a chance to be number one in the U.K. and we're going to continue to grow. We certainly got the attention of some of our competitors as well.
And so, we will continue to make that push if we think we have signal and we can get there. And so, we're not shying away from that. We think as you add more things and more vertical -- more things into the vertical, whether it be delivery of alcohol or other things, we think that benefits us, right, because of the amount of connectivity we have and consumers we have every day coming into our app. So, we think that benefits us. It'll be incumbent on us to play -- to make the right moves. And we're spending a lot of time on it.
As I told you, the management moves we made this week are really allows us to take somebody like Sarfraz, who is an incredible leader and one of our strongest by far, and put him in a pretty challenging market, which is the U.S. And so, you'll also see a lot more of Dara's attention focused on driving the business with Pierre who leads the Delivery business. And again, we are -- we believe that we'll -- we're confident because we think we're well-positioned to move forward.
So, you mentioned Miami, I guess, if we think more broadly about some of the areas where the lockdowns have kind of flipped, whether it's Texas, Australia. More broadly, do you continue to see Eats hold up and then, how does behavior in these sorts of markets differ maybe between older cohorts, newer cohorts, or eat past subscribers, anything you could share there.
So, at least so far we haven't seen as people start moving again, a real slowdown on the food delivery side. In February we saw Mobility in Taiwan grow 45% year-on-year. And it was growing even versus 2019 levels. In that same month, Delivery in Taiwan was still growing at significant rates and only decelerating modestly from January to February. So that's just kind of what we're seeing.
I mentioned, the Miami situation, again, we saw Mobility recovered, only down 25% pre-COVID and yet Delivery is still 100%-plus. We actually haven't seen any adverse reaction to monthly active platform, consumers, basket size retention. There's a little bit of a modest pullback on frequency. But again, I think certainly what we've seen here is that people have adopt -- tried it, people have adopted it, and it's actually works pretty well. It's a really, really good thing.
I spend some time sometimes working from a small apartment in Manhattan. And the ability to press a button and get your food is so much more convenient than drawing the concentric circle around the two block radius, or you really want to pick food up on, and it just opens up your array of opportunities and options. And I think that's just the reality. And so, again, we -- I don't know what's going to happen when we get into a total open post pandemic world, but at least the signal we're getting, particularly in some markets like in Asia. We're not seeing any slowdown on the Delivery side.
And I guess, we're -- a relevant one coming in from the audience on this topic. What kind of synergies are you expecting to see for food delivery as ride-share returns back to normal? I mean, I think you mentioned earlier 10% coming from the super app of new food orders. Do you think that starts to lift as the Mobility side comes back?
Yeah. So, I think as we have more platform consumers on and our ability to capture the eyeballs, we think it only benefits us. And so thinking about other parts of the business, if that's the content and we have the most eyeballs, we have a good opportunity to continue to market our content. And so, yes, we believe so, right? That's our hypothesis. We believe that if you think about how other people play itself. Amazon owns next day, Dara likes to say we believe that we should play in anything in the next hour. So, if you want to go somewhere or get something, those are the things you should think about that we're going to at least explore a little bit.
The big challenges as you know, Lloyd, is w none of us know what the longer term behaviors will be post pandemic, as people are out. Again, as vaccine continue to spread. So we'll see. But again, we are, as you know, getting very good signal in terms of the progress we're making, both in terms of ability recovery and the green shoots and the numbers I shared on what's going on. And so U.S. is something that a lot of our investors look at.
And so, if you think about our average daily gross bookings up 15% February versus January, and then up again 12% the first week of March versus February, that's pretty good recovery. And seeing that and seeing that our Delivery business continues to grow at the triple-digits, it just shows you that we think we're well-positioned as we continue through 2021.
Yeah. Okay. Well, last week, Dara talked about how suburban use cases are kind of growing faster than urban. Do you think that's a function of lower penetration, or maybe are we starting to see signs of a structural shift away from car ownership accelerated by the pandemic?
So, we're not making the case that there's a structural shift right now. We don't really know. I watched auto sales a lot. It's a way for me to judge how big marketplaces and spending, right? So, in the U.S. typically we'll do 17 million cars. I tell the team -- while in Mexico, Brazil might do 5 million cars a year, Mexico might be 3 million cars a year. And as a team wants to push in places like Peru or in Argentina, where they do like 300,000 or 600,000 cars a year, I'm like, okay, that's -- that helped gives you a sense about where consumers can spend.
And so, we're not making that case because as you know, the car dealers and particularly the used car dealers are doing quite well. What we are seeing is, yes, I think the penetration was lower. I think the adoption rates are different. I think the demographics are different.
If I take my own anecdotal case of me versus my son, and so my son in a pre-COVID world lives in Manhattan, he works in private equity now. I don't know that he knows how to turn this oven on. He does not have a landline and that's how he lives. My wife and I live in the suburbs of New York, and pre-COVID, I would pick up food, but I would not get food delivered, even though I worked for Uber because we're just -- you have a different habit.
And frankly, we go to the grocery store and we cook, right? And we cook and we eat and that's kind of our thing. And all -- what's happened now is that out in the suburbs, people like me are trying it. And we're like, wow, this is pretty good, pretty good selection, easy to get to. And so you keep using it. And so, again, I just think that it's what's going on now.
And then there has been a little bit of spread, just demographic about people on before we started -- Lloyd, we talked about the fact that, you're not in Manhattan, and many of your colleagues -- aren't many of my colleagues have moved out of the big cities as well. And so it's just where people are. And so that's where the ordering is.
Yeah. It's definitely interesting to watch all these behaviors change. It's a good segue to the Drizly acquisition. I wasn't even aware that you could get alcohol delivery where in the day you guys announced it. I had a couple of cases of beer show up within an hour in my house. I was blown away.
But you've articulated this clear focus of getting to profitability at some point in the second half, but there are a lot of really worthy investments. Drizly, Uber Direct subscription, how do you guys think about balancing this investment and future growth versus the desire to get to profitability?
So, look at, we're spreading our profitability as a company. And so, it is underlying what we're doing. At least me and my chair, and as you know, people like myself and Dara have this isn't our first rodeo. And so as you think about a company, depending on whatever you think that economic backdrop is, for a company like ours, you have to get the profitability. So, we are not taking our eye off the ball. If anything, our actions in 2020 gives us more flexibility.
And so, what I mean by that is if you look historically in our financials at our corporate R&D line, which was largely on ATG, you would've seen $500 million to $600 million a year spent historically, which is not going to happen now. Even in the case of Postmates where we were -- was a large transaction, we know that we're going to drive $200 million of run rate savings.
And so, what it did was it gave us more flexibility to spend. There's certainly is a discussion, a constant discussion about where we want to invest to grow, because Pierre and the team on the Delivery side have lots of opportunities to grow, where we have to continue to invest for the future because of where the growth is. And yet we -- and we certainly want to make sure we're prepared on the Mobility side to make sure that as we come out of COVID, that we continue to maintain our global leadership position, which all of you recognize.
But again, we are not coming off the number or getting off to profitability this year. If anything, we have more confidence around it. Especially as we're seeing some of the green shoots on Mobility, as soon as -- especially as we see the continued growth of our Delivery business, and yes, will -- require us to make capital allocation choices at the company? Yes. Because there's a lot of interesting things that we could continue to do. We'll meet -- we'll make the choices. Yes. And I think that if anything -- our investors should see that we'll make those choices in 2020 -- as I mentioned in my opening remarks, I think we did a pretty good job in terms of leveraging taking the crisis and really positioning the company for the future.
So, on the last earnings call you guys talked about, I think, 30% of high value riders in Brazil are still not back. And yet the businesses is coming back nicely, which would imply either kind of new users, or existing users that weren't as frequent, maybe expanding their use cases. Can you explain the dynamic a little bit? And do you think it's unique to Brazil or are there other -- do you think this is representative more broadly?
So, I wouldn't call it representative broadly. I think it's unique to certain marketplaces. And so, Brazil -- actually, New York City is another one. And so if you actually look at the dynamics of where people are traveling, so for sure airports are largely down everywhere, it's just facts. But what's happened is, and then the other thing is, is like in many locations, what we call party time, so the after 10 o'clock rides, those are down as well, because bars have been closed. And -- but what happens is on the workday, we're used to have these peak in terms of commute hours. That's actually spread to more of an all day thing.
And what's happening is, is like unlike all of us who can be on Zooms and be on these calls, there are a lot of place people in places like in San Paolo or in New York City that actually have to get to work. And so, there has been a little bit of substitution going in for workers who are taking an Uber versus maybe a cab or public transit. It could be for COVID reasons. It could be for other reasons because there are more incidents, if you will, on the subways in New York as well. And so, we're seeing some recovery there.
So, then the question becomes when we get the COVID recovery, will all the riders come back and will we be able to retain them? I guess we'll see. Most people when they use our service tend to come back. And so, there tends to be stickiness there. So again hopefully we've continued to expand the use case. And then over time what we have to work on is, while we continue to focus is make sure that we continue to have attractive product for the different segments.
And so, as you know, and in the past, we talked about share rides, which is something that we proactively, shutdown. We are continuing to look at it. You'll see us look at Hailables. So, we announced the partnership with SK Group in Korea, seventh largest taxi market in the world. We are going to build out the business. The regulatory rules have changed there, which allow us to do a service like ours there, and we're going to try to fit it in the Hailables world. And so, we'll continue to build out our use cases and build out our segmentation, so we can bring more people in and kind of attack more of the TAM.
Wanted to ask a bit on regulation. There's some kind of cross narratives. Obviously, we've had the case in the U.K. You have a large deal in Italy, I think with a union, some issues in Geneva, in Spain on food delivery, but we've also seen some moderation from the EU side, not wanting to inadvertently hamper the gig economy. So, what's the best way to think about regulatory risk for you guys ahead?
Well, so, it's a fair question and it is the hardest probably for investors to get their arms around. Obviously, you saw the very public fight, if you will, in California on Prop 22. And again, we won that fight in a very -- everyone would consider a very blue state largely because it wasn't what the drivers want, right? And so, as we think about economic uncertainty, as we think about recovery, and we think about having a flexible earning platform, again, we think that if the people who are making the policy really think through what's best for those constituents, having companies like Uber are very, very important.
So, we've been clear that labor is an important issue for us. We don't believe regulators -- and regulators do need to be involved in rethinking how we modernize kind of the labor laws. We've been proactive, right? So, we want to offer this IC plus model, which offers benefits and protections to drivers and delivery people on the platform, while retaining the flexibility that they really want, right? They don't want to be told when they have to work, they want to work when they want to work.
So, again, for us, it's not a California issue. It's not a U.S. issue, but you'll see us be very proactive about it. Last year, I think hopefully people read the -- Dara laid actually out a framework in our IC plus campaign. And we put forth our proposals for the EU for a better white paper that we recently published. So, we are trying to engage on this. We think it's the right path forward. We think -- as you think about modernizing some of these rules that make sense.
In the U.K., which is our biggest market in the EU, we are actively studying the Supreme Court judgment. We are evaluating our next steps. And at the appropriate time, more will come out in terms of how we're going to manage through it. But again, we've been very proactive about it. We've also been on the forefront in terms of providing PP&E and safety for our drivers. You've seen us advertise, no mass, no ride.
I was in the car in Miami and the driver -- and I let them know where I worked and he was so profusely thankful because we'd send them a plastic shoe. And we're out front trying to do that as well as issuing things like the safety report, because we believe that if you want to make progress, you have to measure yourself against it. And when we released the safety report, as you know, there are a lot of bad things happen. And so, again, we've been out front about all of it because we know how important it is to protect, safeguard and provide benefits and good earning opportunities for our earners.
So, staying kind of on that theme, Prop 22 costs, how are those coming in relative to your expectations? And are you passing those along entirely to consumers? And what are you seeing from competitors on this front? We've heard some talk to not passing along the costs entirely. Yeah. Let's get your take there.
So, the costs are coming in and as expected. So there are no really major surprises. We are providing drivers and delivery people with the benefits offered under Prop 22, and then we've gone through a few cycles -- earnings cycles on the top. We are passing through a majority of these costs through modest increases to consumer fees.
And for Mobility, we pass through a significant majority of our cost increases to consumers. In Delivery, we're passing through some, but a smaller attack. And so our Delivery competitor op to past through the cost increases through a nationwide service behind, instead of a more kind of direct and transparent fee in California like we did. And so again, it does not constrain our ability to pass through the costs, but for the most part, the impact our P&L has been fairly manageable and it was contemplated when we laid out our Delivery breakeven targets for this year.
And do you think there's any real share -- do you think that the changes in fees will move share around at all? Or do you think that most consumers just get into a habit and it doesn't really impact, if you take a different approach than competitors?
So, it may, I mean, again, I don't know. We don't really know, because it's too early to tell. And again, what I don't know is, if our large competitor is basically subsidizing the California fees with the rest of their base. And so, we've chosen not to do that, because I'm not sure why that would make sense, but again, they're doing it. And so, they're -- and right now, they're getting away with it. But again, we will continue to test and we'll see.
So, minimum wage seems to be a high priority for the current presidential administration. How do you think a higher minimum wage would impact Uber, either directly having to pay drivers more or indirectly with just driver supply becoming more challenging?
So, it's actually hard to comment until we actually know the details of how, or if, or when this is accomplished in terms of what the minimum wages are over, what period the increases have to be established. So, in general, for us drivers earn well above the minimum wage, particularly in the larger urban areas, which already tend to have minimum wage levels anyway, that are higher than the national average.
So, for that reason, at least we think that in the urban areas, there'll be largely muted. In areas that are less populated, it could have a meaningful impact, and it's going to depend. And again, I don't want to talk politics. I don't want to talk -- and so I understand both sides of the argument. I understand, someone in -- you're in Atlanta, Atlanta versus some of the outskirts of Georgia, you can understand the argument for having one universal one. You can also understand the differences of having -- not having one, because the different cost of living adjustments.
So, I know as employers we have different costs of living adjustments depending on where people live. So, again, whatever comp, we will respond to whatever gets set, if you will, it doesn't look like right now anything is going to get set. So.
So, how do you see the competitive environment right now, particularly in Delivery? What do you expect from Grubhub post the JET acquisition close, particularly after these guys have been raising money, and investing more in delivery? Any learnings from their push in London that gives you more confidence, if they do choose to get more aggressive in the U.S.?
Well, first of all, you mentioned whole thing. So first let me just touch off on Mobility. So, I think the Mobility, the environment is largely consistent with our commentary in the past. The U.S. continues to be constructive. We still continue to watch what's going on with Didi. And so, depending on where they go, I think, Didi continued -- has elevated competition in LatAm, which we continue to fight effectively and in some other parts of the world have seen less. But we are hearing noise that they are entering other parts and including our friends at Yandex have heard as well. And so we'll see. But it's largely as constructive. Our category position, which is what we call it -- you guys call it market share has relatively been unchanged. And so that tends to be relatively consistent we said in the past.
In terms of Delivery, I mean, again, I don't want to be specific on the competitor, but certainly this competitive intensity, and it just has to do with the amount of growth that's going on and the capital that continues to be poured into the markets. Obviously, as companies go public, we think it's a positive, because it creates some rationality as they try to think about operating as public companies. We are one or two in all of our delivery markets, right? And a majority of our gross bookings coming from markets, we have one position. So, we continue to -- I think if you're heard on our earnings call, we have a number of those markets that are profitable as well. And so, we're confident we're going to make -- continue to make progress against our target of getting to breakeven on Delivery at some point this year as well.
You will see us continue to make offerings, and build out as much as we can, although the markets are hot. So that does mean prices are up. As you think about things like a Drizly, as you think about things like Grocery, as you think about other things that we think could be delivered in the next hour.
We think the super app, which you brought up earlier will continue to be an advantage. And again, as I mentioned earlier, it contributed 10% of our first time eaters in Q4. And then, at the end of the day, whether it’s -- some of the competitors you mentioned out there, everyone's going to have to make their own determinations and they'll have their own stakeholder concerns and issues and challenges to work through. We think it will bode well for us. We think we've gone through a number of our changes already and are well-positioned now. And again, as we continue to get towards profitability, we think it's a big positive for the company. And there are some untapped things we can do on Delivery.
And so, as you know, you've heard us talk about ads, it's a very nascent thing in our business. But we're seeing great traction and we're just starting. And if you look at some of the largest the delivery players, the really large ones that the benchmarks are, could be 2% of gross bookings. And so that becomes pretty interesting and attractive for us as we continue to build out and continue down our path.
So, ESG is getting a lot more attention in the investment community. You guys have laid out a path to get to zero emissions. What are you guys doing at Uber to ensure of workforce components of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, and how important is this for the company?
So, as you know, I'm new to the West Coast and I'm new to tech. And I spent more of my time on the East Coast and financial services. And honestly, it's night and day in terms of the commitment. And I don't think it's just Uber, but a lot of the companies out there in terms of diversity. And so, we spent a lot of time on this as a company, and it's very important to us and you saw us put out commitments that will impact Dara's and mine and other executives' compensation as well. We think it's one of our greatest priorities, both in terms of -- on our workforce, on our platform.
We recognize and continue to learn, right, in terms of -- and so for all of us, you have to continue to be open to the dialogue, which we are. We actually spend a lot of time with is -- on our management teams and inside our respective functions. And so, we really are focused on celebrating, supporting, investing in equality, diversity inclusion.
I think our whole leadership team is -- if you look at our Board, I think it stands tall versus anybody else's. I have the privilege this week because as you know, it's international women's week of hosting Ursula Burns, who is on our Board and one of the most prominent and I would consider pioneer, as an African-American female business leader.
And we spend a lot of time working through this because we know how important it is. And so, we have specific initiatives around it. We've been definitely making sure that we're measuring our salary data to achieve pay equity. And so, by the way, in 2019, we got within a penny [ph] globally between men and women, which is pretty amazing in terms of our -- in terms of pay gaps. And I'm not suggesting that it's okay or not okay, but it's something we're focused on. And we're also within a penny among employees from underrepresented racial backgrounds, and they're -- underrepresented peers. So we're proud that we're continuing to work the right way. We think it's important.
And so, look at it, it's reflective of our workforce as a global company and a leader, and think about what we do in terms of not just our consumers, but our earners. We think it's critical and we think it's critical to our success long-term.
Let's talk about the enterprise opportunity. How do you see that slicing across different pieces of the business, Mobility, Delivery, and then ultimately even Uber Direct.
So, we think that while we've built a very strong business there, we're still have huge opportunity, right? So, in my mind, I think we're still punching below our weight. And so, it's something that we are going to focus a lot more on. We're continuing to be innovative in terms of trying to build out.
What's interesting is, is that most companies now as they go through their teeny and they look at vendors, most -- every company uses Uber, because their employees use Uber to get around. And so, it is important. And so, it's just important for us to kind of build that. So, we think that's going to be a big opportunity for us. We think as you build out and improve our product stack, that helps as well.
And so, as you know, we launched Uber Reserve. And so, Lloyd, next time you're going to Atlanta airport, hopefully you will reserve your ride. I gave my anecdotal information because I live in the suburbs of New York. And so when you're going to catch that seven o'clock flight out of JFK or LaGuardia, you want no friction. So, you want to just be able to go outside and have a car be there. And so you didn't even want the couple of minutes -- it might take for get the car. And so, launching things like that all are primed in terms of getting Uber Reserve.
And so, we're going to -- you'll see us continue to deepen the relationships. You heard us announce that partnership we had with Bank of America, which was a temporary partnership, but really because they could provide meals to their tellers and people that are essential bank employees operating in the branches during the pandemic. And so, you'll see us continue to work with large companies, continue to build it out.
In terms of Uber Direct, it fits naturally into the B2C category -- we do have an offering that is appropriate for Uber -- for business enterprise customers. And you'll see us continue to vest about that. And so, building partnerships with large institutional clients is for us we believe a big opportunity to have.
So, you sold down your stake in ATG, but still have a nice ownership position there. How confident are you all that you'll have access to the key autonomous technology and then that some of these pure play autonomous companies won't ultimately be competitors.
So, first of all -- you're rightfully so, I mean, we still have a sizable stake. We still have two board seats. But we do think allows us the flexibility and then the flexibility to continue to build. We think that we -- as the operator or the largest ride-share network globally, we do -- one thing we do know is we understand the amount of R&D and costs in order to get cars to autonomous.
As you've heard Dara talked in the past, we believe that ride-share is the best use case out of the box, because you don't have to get all the way to level five. We can deploy cars on our network at level four. And so as cars come out and if you think about amortizing these cars, and as someone who's had the opportunity to look in -- under the hood, if you will, you can't even believe it, right?
And so, as you think about, people about talking about all these LiDAR companies, so LiDAR is the sensors, but you still have to program in all of the intuitive actions that you or I, and all of us would make as drivers. And so the amount of work that goes into it is, these cars are like have little data centers in them, as you think about getting to level five.
And so, as you think about that, you certainly want to -- would want to deploy them and get utilization. And so, again, we will continue to have our dialogue. We will talk to all of the providers. We have good relationships -- good working relationships with all the major folks who are out there on autonomous. And so, again, we do expect that as cars become available, we'll be able to put them on our network. If it's from one of the new businesses like the Aurora or the Waymo, or if it's from one of the traditional OEMs where we also have relationships as well.
So, we have one in from the audience I'll ask, which is, what was embedded from a revenue perspective in your outlook for EBITDA flat to down to the extent that ride-sharing is up sequentially. Would you outperform on EBITDA? And I guess I'll add to that. How do you think about incremental investment? Generally speaking, when you see upside in an area of the business, how do you think about how much to let flow through versus plowing into some of the exciting stuff you're working on?
So what you and the investors that I speak to regularly know that I'd like to not comment. But yeah, I think you should expect that instead of the down-ish part, I'll say it should be any more flattish if you will, quarter-to-quarter, because we are seeing some improvement there. I think as we -- because we don't know the shape of the recovery, and I think most of us believe, as you get to the end of this year or early next year, we should get through it. But the time between now and then, so I don't want to comment much beyond.
Again, my commit -- our commitment, the company's commitment, Dara's commitment is get the profitability in the back half of this year. If there's opportunities for us to invest, you should expect that we will. Hopefully over time as we continue to build our relationship with our investors, you'll give us credit for getting it right more than wrong, and been good prudent folks around capital and around the choices that we're making. And there are opportunities out there to grow.
But again, we've narrowed the focus in terms of what we're going to do. And so, they're largely going to be around a couple of our big, main verticals. And even in the case of Freight where the business is doing well, and we're seeing good signal there. As you know, we took in third-party money and our partnership with Greenbriar to fund it the profitability.
So, we think we'll be good stewards of capital. Hopefully over time as we continue to prove it out, we will. We are excited about the growth opportunities. And so you should expect that we will lean in if there's -- if it makes sense, and we will be able to explain why we did.
And then the one thing I will tell you is that we are focused in terms of covert -- mobility recovery, and as marketplaces come back, we need to make sure we're ready and we're not going to see it any ground to anybody. And so people should just expect that.
And so, it doesn't mean we're not going to continue to show the improvement we are. And I think we've shown good improvement through the course of the pandemic. And again, I reiterate that our commitment to profitability in the back half of the year. And I gave you a little bit of upside in terms of Q1 in terms of more of a flattish quarter for the quarter. But beyond that, I'd rather not comment. I think that hopefully you'll see that we'll invest our capital in the way that we think makes the most sense long-term.
I wanted to go back to Uber Direct, it's an exciting area that where I think the product is really expanding quickly. What have you guys found in terms of just the types of verticals that have the strongest adoption? And kind of what retail sectors do you think have high potential, but where maybe the build out is still lagging?
So, it's too early to tell, right? So, we actually learned a little bit from Postmates because they had a material portion of their trips that were -- what you call direct. And so, we're learning from it. And as you continue to build out commerce, we're seeing more and more opportunities to do it.
The second thing, Lloyd, is with Drizly. So, many times Drizly, it's more Tupi [ph] where the store is providing the delivery. And so, we are learning and there's a lot of good opportunities to do so.
And so, again, it's too early days. I don't want to comment in terms of specifics, but it's a big opportunity for us. And again, as I talked about some of the manager moves you've changed now between Pierre -- And so think about the U.S. between Dara, Pierre and Sarfraz, we're going to be all over it. And now Sundeep as the Chief Product Officer across all of the company, you should expect that we're going to be all over this one.
We have another one from the audience that would love to just touch on, which is you called out what sounds like a really strong lift in Mobility, both in February and again, in the March. Any regional differences you would flag? I would imagine most of that strength is in the U.S. and less so in Europe, but anything you could share on kind of regional color.
Yeah. No. So, that's true. So, Asia, when we sat on our fourth quarter call continues to rebound, if you will. We called out Brazil, because Brazil is a unique use case where COVID was very serious, obviously. But there was rebound there. And we're starting to see some encouragement in the U.S. and you saw our large competitor on ride-share, on Mobility, talk about it last week. And so, we're seeing that too.
And if you guys all turn on the TV and see where people are moving around and a good example is going to be Miami, you heard the stats, right? And then the last thing I would say is, as we start getting into March, we're going to start lapping COVID -- the COVID numbers. And so, I think you'll see good improvement.
And then, look at the vaccine velocity has improved as you know, and people are starting to move around. I think the CDC guidelines yesterday in terms of people who've had both doses, or if it's a single dose starting to move around, I think will help as well. And so, again, look at, we are excited about the opportunity going on there. And again, I think that as we think about where we sit today and now with some of the management changes made, we're really well-positioned. And so, one of the things I'm half-full, and you guys don't see it so much is we've made a lot of the big changes we took advantage of the crisis of the pandemic of 2020, we're really well-positioned.
And meantime, Dara now has the capacity because of all the stuff on the tech side where he leaned in, he's freed up now. And so, he's really going to spend this year working with Pierre and Mac and the teams in terms of building out on both of those vectors, if you will. And so, again, we're pretty excited about the opportunity.
And I guess -- I think, we probably have time for one more. How big of an opportunity do you think subscription is broadly for the company? And how do you think strategically about integrating, whether that's Drizly or Uber Direct into a bundled subscription offering?
So, we're still sorting through it. I would say that the one thing that we have to continue to build out is the ability -- to figure this out in the platform, because the case of Drizly is different than the case of typical ordering on the -- from a restaurant where Lloyd, if you go on right now and Uber Reach, you're largely going to -- you're going to pick actual the restaurant you want to order from. When you go on Drizly, you decide -- I don't know what you drank, but let's say it's tequila and it'll show you where you can get. I'm sure somebody like used drinking Clase Azul. And so, it can show you where you can get your Clase Azul at the price -- or maybe you're a 1942, I don't know, but it's not the Casamigos that I have to drink or somebody else.
But so anyway, but it's more driven. And so building all that in is going to be important in terms of how we win. And again, it's early days, but again, we're going to spend a lot of time and focus on this.
Yeah. Well, it's exciting to watch all the product come together. I can't wait to see Drizly integrated into some degree pass.
The only thing -- the only caution is that, as you guys know, when you're out -- when you're shipping alcohol state by state, so if you in New York, you should go all go on Drizly, it works great, California, too. If you're in Pennsylvania -- I have a son who's more over 21. I asked him to try it -- and then Pennsylvania, you can only buy beer. So, it's a little bit different. And so, again, it's just working through the state by state regulations and their expertise actually is beneficial to how we continue to grow it. So.
Yeah. Well, it's exciting product -- a product to have in the bundle. Nelson, thanks a lot for being here. It's great to have this conversation with you and hopefully we can get you back to the Breakers live next year.
I hope so.
It's even better when it's in-person.
That would be great. I think we all look forward to some more face-to-face interaction. So, again, thank you very much for having me. I hope everybody stays safe and healthy, and hopefully we just got to hang on for a little longer and we'll be moving again. So. And if we do, I know you guys are all going to be pressing your apps, so thank you.
All right. Well, thanks a lot. Have a great day.
You too. Thanks.