Uber to sell South East Asia business to Grab, Zurich airport gets another Swiss First Class lounge

Posted on March 9, 2018 by in Travel Deals

– it turns out Uber is much more like a VC than an operator – after selling their business in China, Russia (and Central Asia) the company now is close to a deal to sell their business in South East Asia to competitor Grab

I always wondered how anyone can make money on $1.50 rides in South East Asia (the average fare in many cities in South East Asia). This includes a 10-15 minute ride, the credit card fee, the car maintenance and driver salary. Grab likely has a better model than Uber with its bloated overhead.

There are a number of principal regions left:

– Uber considers the US its primary market but at the pace Lyft is raising money there may even be a a deal on the table there (dropping the competition would make a lot of money for the surviving entity as taxis barely compete with them)

– South America does not have a major competing brand to Uber – if the operation makes any money (I actually doubt it does right now) Uber will likely stay

– Africa has a good number of Uber cities and there is no local competition – this could become Uber’s strongest market by margins (rides aren’t cheap in Africa but driver salaries are)

– Zurich airport gets yet another Swiss First Class lounge

The Swiss lounges are a very distinct Swiss experience. Booking Swiss First Class has become a tricky award redemption – likely making it even more exclusive.