Uber may soon withdraw from some Asian and African markets - Finance and Markets

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Shared travel company Uber may soon withdraw from some of its international markets, including 15 African cities, as its new majority shareholder insists on it. The consortium lead by SoftBank acquired 17.5% stake in Uber after new new 8 billion USD investment. Thus, the Japanese technology giant SoftBank becomes the largest shareholder in the US firm.
Uber hopes that the investment will allow the company to speed up delivering its service to “more people in more places around the world”. But this seems to be different from the vision of SoftBank.
Rajeev Misra, a board member of SoftBank, believes that the shared travel company has a better chance of success and profit if it focuses on its core markets such as the US, Europe, Latin America and Australia. Misra is expected to join Uber’s board of directors as part of the deal.
SoftBank owns shares in some of the world’s largest shared travel companies, including Uber and its rivals like Indian Ola and Chinese Didi Chuxing, so it’s no surprise that the Japanese giant may ask the California-based company to focus on its main markets where it does not have to compete with its other investments.
Uber has not responded for comment on the subject.
Since entering its first African market in 2013, Uber has quickly grown and operated in eight countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt and Morocco. Its expansion is taking place despite Little Ride’s competition in Nairobi and the Estonian Taxify on most African markets. Taxify is partly funded by the global competitor of Uber – the Chinese Didi Chuxing.
Within its four years in Africa, Uber has made significant progress on the continent. Egypt is one of its fastest growing global markets, while during its first 16 months in Lagos, Uber has done 30% of its shipment than in its first 16 months in London. In Ghana, Uber has teamed up with the Transport Ministry to create a regulatory framework for Shared Travel technologies so that it does not face the problems it has in other markets.
But as elsewhere, Uber’s operations in some African countries are facing protests from taxi drivers’ organizations that claim that its model of work will harm their business.