Lower margins to drive scale

“Your margin is my opportunity”, is a saying referred to Jeff Bezos. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed the same feeling in his interview with Acquired.fm.

Dara said he would rather have a business with a 20 % take rate (the percentage a marketplace business keeps after paying sellers) instead of a 30 % take rate.

“I will answer somewhat seriously, which is high takers are dangerous. Our job as a company is to grow volume as much as we can, as fast as we can, and make our shareholders happy enough, minimizing the take rate, which is taking as much of that dollar and giving it to drivers and couriers. Last quarter, gross bookings grew 22% or so, which is really good. The money that drivers and couriers, including tips, made on the platform grew by 30% higher. At the same time, we’re able to expand our margins brief free cash flow positive.”

“I’d say I take the 20% take rate business. It’s more lasting. The growth can go on for much, much longer.”

Full interview transcript at Acquired.fm and more on take rates from Bill Gurley in the oldie but goodie A Rake To Far.

Author: Henrik Torstensson

Partner at Alliance VC. Investing in Nordic early-stage tech startups.

Leave a Reply