The mounting losses followed Uber's disappointing initial public offering. On Friday, it took a $617 million hit — the largest loss on the first day of trading by a U.S.-based company in recent history, according to Renaissance Capital.
Uber's earliest investors are still making money off the IPO, but "for late-round investors, it's possible by the time they exit they will end up with a loss," said Jay Ritter, finance professor at the University of South Florida.
Among the recent big investors — and perhaps losers — is PayPal, which had disclosed plans to buy $500 million in Uber stock at the IPO price of $45.
Uber has had no trouble convincing venture capitalists to pour money into its earlier funding rounds, but with its unclear path to profitability, it's having a more difficult time with Wall Street investors.
"It's clearly a high-risk, high-reward scenario. You're betting on something that may happen 10 years down the road," said Matt Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO exchange traded funds. "Public investors are looking at profits and not seeing any, and the company's growth in the last quarter was relatively strong, but I don't think it blew anyone away."
Uber's main U.S. rival, Lyft, is in a similar spiral. Its stock was trading below $48 on Friday, down 33% from its IPO price of $72.
It's rare to see shares in a tech company hit so hard upon going public. Over the past five years, just 10% of similar companies finished their first day of trading below their IPO price, Kennedy said.
Uber's revenue last year surged 42% to $11.3 billion, but the company admits it could be years before it turns a profit.