Uber Sees Rebound in Brazil Business Rides as Vouchers Multiply

Uber Technologies Inc. has seen corporate travel bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in Brazil as companies offer more rides to employees and clients.

An Uber driver travels in Sao Paulo.
By Julia Leite
December 08, 2021 | 07:55 AM

Bloomberg — Uber Technologies Inc. has seen corporate travel bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in Brazil as companies offer more rides to employees and clients.

In November, the number of rides in the firm’s Uber for Business unit tripled from February 2020, the month before Covid-19 hit Brazil, the firm said in a statement Tuesday. At the worst moment of the pandemic, corporate trips slumped 80% in the Latin American nation.

Uber for Business had targeted mostly business tourism since it started operating in Brazil in 2015. With corporate travel coming to a halt amid the pandemic, it saw the number of companies wanting to offer vouchers and gift cards to clients and employees jump three-fold, becoming a “significant” part of revenues, Uber said. The number of companies offering to pay for employees’ rides to work has risen by 30%.

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Brazil was one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, ranking third globally in number of cases and trailing only the U.S. in deaths from the respiratory disease. Infections have receded in the past few months as vaccinations advance, allowing states and cities to lift almost all restrictions across the country.

Uber for Business saw gross revenue more than double globally between the third quarter of 2019 and the same period this year to $4.1 billion. The company expects trips to airports to have a “considerable increase” in the first half of next year in Brazil, its biggest market in Latin America.