Weird Travel

The Rise Of Uber

posted by Chris Valentine

From its humble origins in 2009 in San Francisco, Uber has gone on to take over the globe. Due to their take on convenience and competitive rates, Uber has seen some unstoppable growth over the last ten years.

As successful as they have been, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Uber often faces news coverage over regulations and workers’ rights, news stories like the Uber class action lawsuit get massive media attention.

As a result of some of the negative press, some countries like Denmark and Hungary have banned uber all together. London, the home of the British black cab driver, placed a temporary ban which was only just lifted too.

The resistance against Uber comes from its unique company business model. It does not employ employees, instead, it hires self-employed contractors through its high tech systems. They are technically an internet company not a provider of transport. It does not own any cars.

Over the last ten years, however, Uber has used up nearly 11 billion dollars worth of investment. It almost defies logic that they have still managed to become one of the most investor-backed tech companies globally.

Recently they appointed a new CEO, Mr. Khosrowshahi. Under his reign, Uber has managed to reduce its losses and increase their revenue.

Early Days

Ten years ago, UberCab was unheard of, but in a world of convenience, UberCab’s creators knew it would not take long before the company would take off.

Allowing users to order a taxi from their phones was groundbreaking. And very soon everybody was doing it.

In October 2010, UberCab rebranded itself as Uber, in an attempt to distance itself from conventional taxi companies. This was the start of a long-running feud between the old school taxi firms and the new-age tech company that is Uber.

In December 2011, Uber underwent its first international expansion, starting with the French capital Paris. At the same time, the second round of funding for the company was headed up by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, investor giants Goldman Sachs and Menlo Ventures.

In July 2012, they unveiled their low-cost UberX service, and this is where Uber’s taxis started to cost less than the rest of the competition. With a push towards low emission cars like the Prius, they start to monopolize the taxi market.

In December 2013, Uber faced its first lawsuit, a lawsuit filed against them coming from over 30,000 Uber drivers. They settled this case out of court in 2016.

In July 2014, they entered China after raising over a billion dollars in funding.

In August 2017, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over the company.

In March 2018, a self-driving Uber car killed a late 40’s woman in the first recorded pedestrian death from an AI-controlled car.

August 2018, the companies worth is now raised to 72 billion dollars after Toyota invests a further 500 million.

In May 2019, Uber goes public on the NY Stock exchange with an initial market cap of 75.5 Billion.

The journey Uber has made since its humble origins is an incredible one. Who would have thought that something as simple as a taxi app, could monopolize the entire taxi company across the world!

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