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Via this case, students are introduced to several alternative methods of valuation, including the valuation based on the “real options” theory. The novelty of the case is…
Via this case, students are introduced to several alternative methods of valuation, including the valuation based on the “real options” theory. The novelty of the case is the link between valuation and the type of innovation that the company represents. The suggested valuation frameworks, which include both quantitative and qualitative assessments, are applicable not only in the context of an IPO valuation but also in the context of any kind of M&A activity.
This case was prepared mostly via secondary research. All the information about Uber and the industry was collected via publicly available sources. No internal documents of the company were used in the preparation of this case. The primary research consisted of an interview with the protagonist Catherine (whose name is disguised). Other disguised elements in the case include the name of the Value Investor conference organizer (Spyros Spyrou, not his real name), the country of the Value Investor conference (omitted) and the conference venue (Princess hotel, not any actual venue).
In 2019, Uber, the famous ride-sharing company, made waves in financial markets as the most controversial IPO valuation. With a wide range of proposed values, Uber puzzled investors, once again living up to its fame of a rebel and a disruptor. When Uber finally went public in May 2019, its IPO valuation stood at $82.4bn. The heated discussion in the media continued even after the IPO: “Is Uber worth this amount? Is there an upside potential for the investors who bought shares at the IPO price? What if this is a hype and markets are simply embracing higher valuations?”
Complexity academic level
This case can be used at the undergraduate, graduate (MBA) or executive level in finance-related courses such as Company Valuation or Valuing Innovation, which cover the topic of valuation and specifically the topic of valuing innovative companies.
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of…
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of research in the field. The paper discusses the origins of the field and the roles of nonmarket strategy. The political economy framework is used and contrasted with the current form of the resource-based theory. The paper argues that research should focus on the firm level and argues that the strategy of self-regulation can be useful in reducing the likelihood of challenges from private and public politics. The political economy perspective is illustrated using three examples: (1) public politics: Uber, (2) private politics: Rainforest Action Network and Citigroup, and (3) integrated strategy and private and public politics: The Fast Food Campaign. The paper concludes with a discussion of research issues in theory, empirics, and normative assessment.
While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that…
While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that constituting the boundaries of infrastructures is political and performative, that is, it is implicated in ontological politics, with consequences for the distribution of responsibilities (Latour, 2003; Mol, 1999, 2013; Woolgar & Lezaun, 2013). Drawing on an empirical case study of Uber, including an analysis of court cases, the authors investigate the material-discursive production of digital platforms and their participation in the reconfiguring of the world (Barad, 2007), and examine how the (in)visibility of the digital infrastructure is mobilized (Larkin, 2013) to this effect. The authors argue that the representation of Uber as a “digital platform,” as “just the technological infrastructure” connecting car drivers with clients, is a political act that attempts to redefine social responsibilities, while obscuring important dimensions of the algorithmic infrastructure that regulates this socioeconomic practice. The authors also show how some of these (in)visibilities become exposed in court, and some of the boundaries reshaped, with implications for the constitution of objects, subjects and their responsibilities. Thus, while thinking infrastructures do play a role in regulating and shaping practice through algorithms, it could be otherwise. Thinking infrastructures relationally decentre digital platforms and encourage us to study them as part of ongoing and contested entanglements in practice.
Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual…
Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual platform. This ethnographic study documents how Uber drivers in the city of Monterrey, Mexico navigate and come to make sense of the Uber model of work. Employing the conceptual device of the work-game, this study argues that engagement in the game of “earning coins” coupled the interest of drivers in generating the most-possible income with the interest of management in maintaining a readily available labor pool. Reinforcing this coupling was Uber’s deployment of an entrepreneurial ideology of “being your own boss,” which was especially important given the company’s lack of a physical management structure. However, as Uber takes advantage of the deindustrialization that has gripped Monterey, it attracts drivers exhibiting varied employment trajectories. This in turn creates different modes of playing the work-game and thus generates sharply divergent subjective understandings of the work, whose nature this chapter explores.
Over the past few years Uber has experienced more controversy than any other digital platform. Looking at the case of Uber in Poland, this chapter distinguishes four…
Over the past few years Uber has experienced more controversy than any other digital platform. Looking at the case of Uber in Poland, this chapter distinguishes four arenas in which Uber has been contested: in cities, in public opinion, in the political realm, and in the legal field. Each of these arenas has a different logic and dynamic and also involves different actors and institutions. Nevertheless, the various struggles are connected with each other. Victories and defeats in one spill over into another, providing actors with resources or imposing constraints on them. The author illustrates the connection between various arenas by looking at court cases involving Uber drivers in Poland and shows how those court cases were not only legal events that determined the legality of Uber in Poland but also moral and political events that influenced struggles over legitimacy that were taking place outside the courtroom.
The purpose of this paper is to experiment a dynamic performance management (DPM) approach to explore and assess the business dynamics of digital ride-hailing platforms…
The purpose of this paper is to experiment a dynamic performance management (DPM) approach to explore and assess the business dynamics of digital ride-hailing platforms with a focus on both supply and demand sides, and related interplays.
The research adopts the DPM framework supported by simulation-based experimentations for developing a systemic case interpretation of Uber Inc. and its specific business complexity.
The emerging scenario analysis reveals that changes in the commission percentage for drivers and cutting prices for customers (car hailers) by competitors have significant impacts on the car-hailing industry.
DPM and associated simulation-based analysis of the ride-hailing business may provide significant managerial decision insights and a ground base research in a relatively less-explored field within the strategic management domain.
The learning outcomes are as follows: to gain insight into the importance of location, in terms of spatial and temporal context and the capability of leadership to tune…
The learning outcomes are as follows: to gain insight into the importance of location, in terms of spatial and temporal context and the capability of leadership to tune into and strategically adapt to context; to understand and explain the sharing economy and explain how the Uber business model fits into this new way of doing business; to evaluate how Uber South Africa has adapted its business model in the period of the COVID-19 crisis and discuss the nature of the business model innovations that is has made; and to understand business model for sustainability and how it differs from the general understanding of business models.
On 15 May 2020, Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber Africa was considering his dilemma of adapting their business model to the demands of COVID-19, without losing their core business model as a multi-sided technology platform business. Uber was asking their riders to stay home to ensure social distancing during the lockdown, rather than booking a ride with Uber. The question was how they could support their driver partners, while they were discouraging riders to make use of Uber. Uber had taken initiatives to create additional revenue streams for drivers. The case highlights how Alon Lits and his executive team prioritised the health and well-being of their Uber community and quickly adapted their technology to meet the evolving needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They customised their offerings to the different needs in the seven Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries in which they operated. Uber supported businesses by using the Uber-X sedan vehicles to deliver necessities like food, medicine and parcels to the frontline and poor communities. Uber globally offered their drivers in quarantine 14 days of financial assistance. Serving communities also involved offering free rides to women and children who were victims of domestic violence to get them to a safe space. The multi-sided platform technology business had to consciously adapt, to the “next normal” as the COVID-19 era evolved.
Complexity academic level
The case is most suitable for Post-Graduate Master’s level courses, MBA, MPhil in Corporate Strategy.
Teaching Notes are available for educators only.
CSS: 11 Strategy.
The purpose of this paper is to explore all the strategies adopted by Uber China to gain more and more market shares of Chinese markets. It included localization of its…
The purpose of this paper is to explore all the strategies adopted by Uber China to gain more and more market shares of Chinese markets. It included localization of its core product, adaptation to Chinese demands and tying up with different Chinese companies.
The case study has been prepared after thoroughly studying Uber’s business in China. Secondary data is collected from credible sources such as the Uber website, newspapers, interviews and journal publications. This data helped in arriving at a basic understanding of the company, its objectives, strategies and the business model. The strategies formulated by Uber and the challenges it faced while operating in China are studied and explained based on this secondary data. Various published papers, reports released by reputed organizations and universities, interviews of managers and experts and research papers were also used to develop this case.
This case is developed considering the bent of today’s consumers toward sharing economy. The scope of businesses based on the concept of sharing economy is very wide and is increasing. China’s sharing economy sector was one of the fastest economies in the world. The case chronicles ride of Uber in China: from its entry in the country, strategies adopted, challenges faced and to the exit from China.
Complexity academic level
International business management at the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in management
This case describes the events following an incident of a rape in a taxi associated with Uber, by its driver. Uber was an application based taxi operator. The events…
This case describes the events following an incident of a rape in a taxi associated with Uber, by its driver. Uber was an application based taxi operator. The events raised several issues for government systems and processes, such as need for regulation of new formats of business like application based taxi services, integrated databases, checks against forgery and holistic approach towards women safety. The case also brings out how an e-commerce business raises regulatory concerns.