Uber is basically promising investors it will become a monopoly

Oh goodie

Cars.
(Image credit: Illustrated | roberuto/iStock, Uber)

The ride-hailing behemoth Uber is still barreling towards its public debut. As of now, the company hopes for an initial market value at around $100 billion. And while that's actually a drop from expectations, it would still be the biggest IPO since Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, went public in 2014.

What's unclear is the justification for such an enormous valuation. Uber isn't profitable: It lost more than $10 billion over the last three years and over $3 billion in 2018 alone. Moreover, examine the inner workings of Uber's business model, and it's not clear how Uber can ever become profitable. Yet it has already raised $20 billion from investors — more than any other startup — and seems headed for a massive stock market debut.

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