clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Uber Saw a Small Dip in Growth During Its Bad Press Week

Based on analysis of anonymized customer receipts, Lyft got a bump and Uber saw a drop.

Asa Mathat

Every day now, there are negative stories about Uber and how the company conducts itself. But here’s the real question — are they actually hurting its business?

Now we have some numbers that show the preliminary answer may well be yes. To be sure, Uber is still growing by leaps and bounds, but perhaps slightly less so.

A firm that has access to anonymized receipts from millions of U.S. consumers showed that Uber’s growth decelerated by 3.6 percent during the week of November 17. That was precisely when news came out that an Uber executive had suggested investigating critical journalists to try to discredit them, and that Uber had an internal “god view” of user trips that was quite possibly being abused by employees.

To be sure, Uber still grew weekly sales 209 percent from the previous year, according to a new data analytics company called 7Park Data. That’s a huge amount of growth.

During the week Uber’s growth rate dipped slightly, Lyft growth accelerated by 13 percent. For the first time, it had 15 percent of the market of the top three on-demand ride providers in the U.S.

7Park says this is the notable change. These growth rates have historically fluctuated up and down, but usually Lyft and Uber follow the same patterns, said 7Park’s Aaron Endré.

Lyft had previously said the week was its biggest ever, by number of rides taken. It didn’t go into specifics.

While the competitors are often mentioned together, Uber is much bigger by volume and also offers more premium — a.k.a. expensive — services. Generally, Uber sales are seven or eight times larger than those of Lyft, according to 7Park.

Uber now has 84 percent market share by revenue, down from 89 percent at the beginning of 2014. Lyft has been growing faster than Uber in the U.S. for much of the year, but from a much smaller base. The third-place ride-sharing provider, Sidecar, has microscopic market share at 0.5 percent.

Should you trust this data? Well, it certainly requires a grain of salt, given the sourcing isn’t fully disclosed. 7Park Data tells Re/code it has exclusive access to “aggregated and anonymized receipt details that are filtered through consumer finance apps.” Despite being asked many times to share the source, 7Park would not.

Based on what I know about the market, it’s pretty likely 7Park’s data would come from a player like Intuit or Yodlee, which power many personal finance applications by securely connecting data feeds from individual users’ bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other sources. Again, 7Park wouldn’t say.

Uber did not provide a comment in time for publication. (Update: Uber declined to comment.)

This article originally appeared on