Uber to move APAC headquarters out of Singapore

Uber's logo is pictured at its office in Bogota, Colombia, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/Files

Uber will move its Asia-Pacific headquarters out of Singapore, affecting 120 roles in the city-state, as part of a global restructuring exercise.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday told employees the ride-hailing company will slash around 3,000 jobs and shut 45 offices globally in its bid to become a self-sustaining business.

In a memo to employees, Khosrowshahi said the company will begin the process of winding down the Singapore office over the next 12 months and move its Asia Pacific hub to a new location.

The latest layoffs come on the back of the 3,700 Uber had announced earlier this month. Khosrowshahi said the company plans to focus on its core ride-hailing and delivery businesses and reduce investments in several “non-core projects.”

Uber had set up its APAC hub in Singapore in April last year in what it claimed was a multi-million dollar investment. The Singapore hub supported the ride-hailer’s operations in nine Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

A report by CNA said the Uber team is expected to make a decision on its APAC headquarters by the end of July this year. A group of finance employees will remain in Singapore, while other roles may be relocated to the new headquarters.

DealStreetAsia has reached out to Uber for comment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be bruising for ride-hailing companies such as Uber, which has seen rides drop by 80 per cent as a result of global travel restrictions and growing health concerns.

Apart from the shutting down of 45 of its global offices, the company has also announced plans to wind down its Incubator and AI labs.

In the meantime, UberEats, the company’s food delivery business, has seen demand soar as users make a beeline for online food ordering during lockdowns. Khosrowshahi emphasised the importance of UberEats in his memo to employees but cautioned that while food delivery growth is accelerating, the business still doesn’t come close to breaking even.

Last week, Uber announced an all-stock takeover bid for Grabhub to strengthen its position in the food delivery market. Negotiations are still underway with both parties still haggling over the deal’s stock exchange ratio. If successful, the merger would give Uber and Grabhub a dominant portion of a rapidly growing market against rival DoorDash.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.