What do you do when you have an idea so brilliant in its simplicity that it practically screams success? You do what Uber creators Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp did: you turn it into a multi-billion dollar business venture!
The story about Uber begins one cold evening in 2008 on the snow-swept streets of Paris. Two San Francisco natives were standing on the sidewalk trying to hail a cab — without much success. It suddenly dawned on them: what if there was a smartphone app that would find the closest available vehicle based on your location and get a friendly driver to pick you up in no time? As soon as Kalanick and Camp got back home to San Francisco, they began the work of turning their idea into reality – or rather into an app! And voilà — Uber was born!
Facts About Uber Infographic Summary
Not only did Kalanick and Camp’s new mobile app take off, it became one of the biggest start-up success stories in recent times. As of May 2011, Uber has been expanding both nationally and internationally at an unprecedented speed. What first started as an on-demand limo service in the City by the Bay, soon turned into a global app phenomenon.
By 2013, Uber was offering its services in a number of major cities around the world, including London, Sidney, Toronto, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. The following year, Uber began operating in China and even launched two other on-demand services: a carpooling service UberPOOL in San Francisco and a lunch delivery service UberFRESH in Santa Monica. In 2015, after Uber announced it had raised $1.5 billion in venture capital, it became clear that Kalanick and Camp had no plans on stopping their company’s upward trajectory.
Owing to its global success and lightning-speed expansion, Uber has been hailed as the highest valued private company in the word and the fastest-growing one in history. In 2015, Uber officially became a $50 billion company and is currently operating in 71 countries and 429 cities, and counting. Most recently, the San Franciso-based company began testing its first self-driving car, showing once again that Uber revolution has only just started.
As is the case with all big companies, Uber has not been without its detractors. The company has been accused of creating unfair competition, aspiring to monopolize the taxi industry, violating customer privacy, refusing to increase safety measures, and underpaying its drivers, among other things. In response to hefty criticism, Uber has on most occasions decided to take the high road and simply ignore the naysayers — letting the success of the company speak for itself.
Not only has Uber become massively successful in its own right, it has also inspired a host of other on-demand businesses. Uber’s recipe for success — find a gap in the market, fill it by combining fresh ideas with easy-to-use technology, and sprinkle with some tech-savvy marketing — has been copied by start-ups everywhere. As a result of rampant Uberification, there are now Uber-inspired apps that provide on-demand services as diverse as childcare, dog sitting, home cleaning, package delivery, snow removal, lawn mowing, private jet booking, and even cannabis delivery!
If you’re still wondering what’s so great about Uber or you’re simply looking to find more interesting facts about one of the biggest start-up success stories in history, check out these 39 Uber facts that will not leave you indifferent.