Uber Green for Business: “Yellow our company figures by 5 in 3 years”

Uber Green for Business:

You have just announced the launch of Uber Green for Business. It’s obvious to you: is the CO2 footprint the key issue for companies when it comes to mobility?

Frank Monsauret: This is an observation supported by a study we conducted with Harris Interactive with 250 companies in February 2022. Half of the companies are willing to commit to a strategy to reduce the CO2 footprint of their travels – and 36% have already done so. In this area, however, ground mobility is a key issue: almost 50% of companies make company cars available to their employees, and these fleets consist on average of only 11% of hybrid or electric vehicles. The use of our green offers can help these companies achieve their decarbonization goals instead of or in addition to “green” their park, which entails a very significant additional cost (from 20 to 30%).

How do you encourage them to go green?

In addition to respecting their CSR obligations, the economic argument is significant. That is why we have increased the price of the races on our thermal vehicles by 3 cents per. kilometer. The green offer is therefore the cheapest! And it works: In one year we have multiplied the “green” races by ten.

For this increase to continue, green vehicles must still be available …

Of course, and that is the context of our initiative. For a year, these have 3 cents per. kilometers been a kitten for the driver of a thermal vehicle. At the same time, we have set up a € 75 million fund in France (and € 800 million worldwide). Once the “thermal” driver has accumulated a certain amount and decides to set it aside for the purchase of a green vehicle, this fund is used to pay him the same amount: to double it. We thus help to compensate for the difference in the purchase price of a green vehicle compared to a conventional vehicle.

Today, 13,000 of our vehicles (40% of our fleet) are either hybrid or electric. Our goal: that our fleet should be diesel-free by 2024, and that 50% of the vehicles on our French platform should be electric by 2025.

How can you take on such an obligation when you have no control over the installation of terminals?

There really is an important infrastructure issue … on which we have a role to play. And not least: An Uber driver from Ile-de-France drives 250 km a day: He is one of the greatest riders, so our voice carries. When we say, “We need fewer new terminals in Paris than in the second or third ring, because that’s where our drivers live,” we are listened to.

In addition, we develop partnerships. With EDF to facilitate access to e.g. a terminal at the driver’s home. Or with Total Energies, which we anonymously send data on departure and arrival points to our drivers’ working day.

Finally, we have introduced systems through which e.g. a driver can tell us “I need to recharge at this terminal” and to whom we send requests for trips in this direction back.

At least you sound skeptical, so see you in 2025 to see where we are at our goal.

These “green” targets relate to the Uber fleet in general. Back to Uber Green for Business, what’s specific about the BtoB offer?

It basically comes down to three points. First, this greener and more economical fleet. So taking into account the absolute need for reliability for a professional traveler with the expansion of the Uber Reserve (which allows you to book a ride in advance and have 10 minutes of beating to get in the car) for green vehicles. Third point: introduction of a monthly CO2 emissions report. Finally, the ability to integrate the various elements of PVE into end users’ professional accounts. I could add other services such as Uber Central, which makes it possible to deploy a large number of vehicles in case of professional events for example. Uber Green for Business is currently available in 14 French cities and 100 cities across Europe and North America.

And, of course, there is an escalation of Uber spending on the company’s accounts. In what concrete way?

To avoid the tedious system of billing from the traveler, there are two options. Either the company – often SMEs – does not want the employee to shift the costs, and it receives a monthly statement of all the races. Either the user is provided with a company card with which he pays for his trip; for this case, we have established bridges with expense tools like Concur, Expensya, Rydoo, etc. Note that the employee can very easily switch from his personal Uber to his professional Uber.

You’re talking about “bridges” between your app and the expense tools. Why not full integration?

We did not go in this direction because our strategy is to use our app with its promise of immediacy, to preserve its “magical” aspect. Moreover, in contrast to e.g. an aircraft, the decision to use a VTC can be made at the last minute, without being planned in the “production” of its journey upstream. Therefore, the use of the live Uber app is more suitable.

In addition to its “magic” dimension, Uber is also uberisation, which is much less rewarding. How do you communicate on this topic?

We would like to refocus this issue on key stakeholders: last year, a major consultation took place with our drivers: 89% of them want to remain independent. In addition, many things have been done to improve their status: For 4 years, we have set up an insurance with Axa in case of incapacity for work, which allows the payment of compensation financed 100% by Uber. One must keep in mind that as a marketplace, drivers are our customers in the same way as passengers. It is in our interest that they are satisfied. To unite protection and independence, the lever is actually the social dialogue; and in this field France is illustrated: next May, the first election of drivers’ representatives will be held.

For a company whose employees travel and who have reached a critical size, it is almost obvious to enter into contracts with a carrier and a hotel group. This is not the case for VTC operators, while in terms of costs it is not necessarily less. What do you think ? Is it changing?

I agree with your observation; I would like to add a clarification. In addition to the amount of expenses, we are systematically first or second in the number of expense reports. And that is the problem, it is this management that is crucial, both for the comfort of the user and for the visibility of the company.

And yes, it does move. In France, we launched this BtoB activity 4 years ago (8 years ago in the US). It is therefore very recent, but we already have 7,000 customer companies in France (and 170,000 worldwide), and measured in revenue, we have experienced a growth of 150% between 2020 and 2021. Our customer companies are of all sizes, any type (from start -ups (Doctolib, Mirakl, etc.) to large corporations (Schneider Electric, TF1, Axa, etc.) and any industry (from tech companies to hospitals).

One of the traditional characteristics of large startups is a valuation out of proportion to their profitability – when there is profitability! In that sense, would you say Uber is still a startup?

If we take this criterion, no! For two reasons. The first is that for the first time in its history, the Uber Group was profitable in the 4th quarter of 2021 – real profitability: which generates profits. The second is that our expected revenue for 2022 amounts to $ 90 billion, for a valuation of $ 60 billion. So we are pretty underrated! Why ? Because investors doubt our ability to become profitable. It is up to us to prove that they are wrong – which is what we did at the end of 2021 and what we must continue to do.

In terms of our BtoB activity, revenue in 2021 was $ 1 billion in 2021, and we aim to multiply it by 5 in 2024. I would add that Uber for Business is a strong lever to acquire customers: when you enter into contracts with a company, 6% of its users will be new users, and – even more interestingly – 34% of them were dormant users becoming active again.

Good results for a mobility player in the middle of a health crisis? We imagine that Uber Eats has been a great buoy …

Of course ! And to talk about business customers, we can say that we had the flair: We set up Uber Eats for Business in January 2020, just before the first shutdown. This offer allows, for example, to give 20 € in order to its partners when working remotely. As you can imagine, depending on health restrictions, in the last two years there has been a pendulum swing between catering and mobility in the distribution of our corporate figure. For example, in January we were at 50-50, and now that the restrictions are easing, mobility is back ahead of restoration. But it is obvious that Eats has been crucial in our passage through the crisis … Not all our customers were exactly in the case of this customer, a major Swiss chocolate manufacturer whose mobility fell by 93% in March 2020, but not far.

Your model inspires: The competition does not hide its ambitions. What strengths are you promoting?

Of course, we follow the competition closely while keeping an eye on us. But we have a real strength based on two characteristics. Our global presence: 3.5 million drivers in 100,000 cities around the world. And our size – 27,000 employees worldwide – with an unmatched ability to invest and innovate.

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