In context: Ride-hailing company Uber has been focusing on decluttering lately; shaving off excess companies and business strategies that are doomed to fail and continue to sap cash from the company's coffers. Last month, we reported on rumors that the company is in talks to sell off its self-driving car business, and now, it seems Uber is poised to do the same with its flying taxi division.
This information comes courtesy of a new report from Axios. The outlet claims that "Uber Elevate" could be shipped off to Joby Aviation after four years of operation, putting an end to the company's skyward ambitions.
If Uber moves forward with the sale, it's probably going to be a smart move in the long run. Uber is a company that arguably tried to spread its wings too far, too fast. It had its hands in food and product delivery, ride-hailing, freight, the self-driving industry, and the focus of today's piece; its air taxi business.
That's simply too much for the company to focus on all at once, especially as it continues to struggle with turning a profit.
Divesting the "assets" that aren't making it any money is a no-brainer for Uber, and will probably give the company much more financial breathing room to focus on the areas that it excels: the core ride-hailing service and Uber Eats. Both services rely on freelancers to function, which aren't particularly expensive compared to hiring best-in-class talent to work on industry-changing tech like self-driving vehicles.
Of course, the pandemic probably hasn't helped any of Uber's non-core business interests either -- if it weren't for Covid-19, who knows? Perhaps the company's air taxi work would have taken off, so to speak.