Who does not know about Uber? The most popular ride service hailing company in the world has made itself the first choice of users all around the world. Let’s discuss the timeline of Uber’s history in the most exciting ways.
Early Days of Uber
Founded in the year 2009 exactly one decade ago by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, the company now boasts of serving 63 countries and 785 metropolitan cities around the world. Just like every other start-up, things were not easy for Garett Camp, a computer programmer and the co-founder of StumbleUpon, and Travis Kalanick. So a day, Kalanick had a major problem in reaching to his conference due to his inability to find a taxi.
This made him realize the problems of countless travelers around the world who face such problems in their day to day life. This led the due launch Uber Cab in 2009. The company gained great success when its Mobile App Developed brought more feasibility compared to the website platform.
How Twitter Helped Kalanick?
It was not that Kalanick would not have made it big without Ryan Graves, who was hired via his tweet. So here’s what Travis Kalanick Tweeted, “Looking for entrepreneurial product manager/business delivery manager”.
Graves asked him to mail and this is how Ryan, a seasoned entrepreneur joined Team Uber Cabs. Graves who joined as General Manager of the company and played an important part in the early stages of the company became CEO in August 2010. However, in December 2010, Kalanick took over again as the CEO of the company while Graves assumed the role of a COO and a board member.
Funding: From ‘Initial Millions to Recent Billion Dollar Investment’
So when did Uber become popular? Uber went live for the first time in San Francisco in 2010 and received the first major funding of $1.25 Million in its first round of funding.
By 2011, the company had raised $11 Million by Benchmark capital. This allowed the company to reach to other cities of the United States as well. In due course of time, the company went live in other cities like New York, and Chicago. Meanwhile, the funding kept pouring in as the second round of funding the company received funds of worth $37 million in which major investors were Goldman Sachs, Menlo Ventures and the great Jeff Bozos.
The inclusion of topmost investors like Goldman Sachs and Jeff Bozos, the founder of Amazon i.e. the most riches companies in the world just near to Apple. So what happened next was the most amazing thing which many expected and predicted but made Uber the Future king of ride-sharing companies. Uber in August 2013, moved to India and Africa which resulted in it receiving the Series C funding which was a mammoth $258 million investment from Google Ventures. The third round valued Uber at $3.76 Billion.
Uber’s Success Resulted in International Reach
The success of Uber was also due to the reason for its expansion program. Along with expanding its services in the cities of USA, it continued to expand in various countries as well. The first country added to the list of its expanding countries was France in 2011. In 2012, it operated in Toronto, Canada. And by 2013, it expanded in South American country of Mexico and various Asian countries as well. By 2014, it made its mark in many countries like India, China, South Arica, etc.
Cease and Desist Order
Back in 2010, the company received a cease-and-desist order from the Municipal transportation agency of San Francisco. The main issue of the agency was that the company was using the word ‘Cab’ in its brand name which was earlier ‘UberCab’. Since that time the company was just a start-up but already knew its fate as it had great businesses backing it apart from the revenue, the founders had amassed from their previous ventures. The company responded to the agency by changing its name to Uber from Universal Music Group.
Uber Discloses Losses
In the year 2011, the company had already raised $11 million in its series A funding by Benchmark Capital. Moreover, it had gone to other cities of the USA like Chicago, Seattle, and Boston as well as in France, Paris. However in the year 2017, for the first time, the company went public. It told Bloomberg, a major publisher that it recorded a loss of $3.8 Billion in 2016. This included losses from its China business where it had already sold in the summer of 2016. The company though found a solution to get out of the losses. The company informed Bloomberg that the more it decided to shift to UberPool, which is one of its carpooling services, it is getting faster revenues. By the end of that year the company said, it recorded an increase of 76 percent in its revenue.
Uber Faces Opposition
Uber faced great resistance from the taxi industry and government regulators. However, the company has a great amount of money which let it hire David Plouffe, a high profile political strategist. He meanwhile, worked on Obama’s presidential campaign of 2008. In 2014, taxi drivers from London, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid gathered and staged a large protest against Uber.
The accusation on Uber was that, since the company gets away from expensive license fees and bypasses locals laws it is unfair for them. This is why the case went to Europe’s top court in December 2016. Meanwhile, Uber lost its license to operate in London where it had more than 40,000 drivers. The rule was overturned though on June 2018 where the court asked the company to operate under a 15-month license with the given conditions.
In New York, a report surfaced according to which Uber had mistakenly charged drivers commission based on not post but pre-tax earnings. This cost the drivers tens of million dollars of money. This is why on June 13, 2017, a judge of the New York court ruled that the drivers of the company should be considered as its employees rather than independent contractors. This is why drivers should be liable to receive the benefits of employees.
Competition from Lyft
In 2012, the company named Lyft came into the scene and started operating in various cities of the USA with its Taxi Mobile Application. In 2014, both Uber and Lyft claimed that drivers and its employees were engaged in disrupting one other’s work process by canceling each other’s rides. The CEO of the company, Kalanick openly admitted that their company tried to undermine the opponent, Lyft’s fundraising in the USA.
Uber launched a merchant delivery program known as Uber Eats. Moreover, the UberPool allows drivers to take various riders on a single ride. This significantly reduces the price when compared to UberX and UberBlack. In 2017, the company rolled out a credit card in the USA. On July 2018, it announced that it would soon be investing in the electric scooter rental company, Lime, in collaboration with Alphabet Inc’s Google Ventures. Uber deal is a part of $335 million investment round, and the business is valued at $1.1 billion. Uber made similar efforts with the startup JUMP bikes when it acquired the business for about $200 million in 2018.
What Forced Uber to Make “Kalanick Out & Khosrowshahi In”?
The founder of the company, Kalanick was forced to leave the company in 2017. The troubles began to escalate when many former female Uber engineer ousted the company for its sexist culture in a long detailed blog post. They said that the work culture of Uber was highly hostile, sexist and very offensive for most of its people.
This led to a massive protest followed by various resignations by many female employees. An investigation was held which resulted in 47 recommendations to improve the work culture of Uber. Soon scandals related to sexist attitudes from top management including CEO Kalanick came into light. Alphabet, the parent of Google Inc. sued the company claiming that one of Uber’s former employees stole their secrets related to self-driving technology.
On June 2017, Kalanick resigned after the revolt of many of its shareholders citing degrade in company’s public image. It did not take longer than a couple of months before Dara Khosrowshahi who was the then CEO of Expedia, the Travel App Company.
Uber’s Acquisition and Net Worth
Uber began its acquisition by acquiring various companies like Complex Polygon, Swipe Labs, Otto and Jump Bikes in 2016 and 2017. This was its plan to expand its business by citing future brands. Its acquisition of Careem, for 3.1 Billion USD relieved it from the competition it was having its UAE, with Careem having larger share compared to Uber. Meanwhile, both companies will continue to operate separately in the region.
Wall Street is betting that Uber could be valued as high as 120 Billion USD as it decides to go for IPO in 2019.
Uber’s journey has been full of highs and lows, and it eventually happens with every big business. Only time will tell how much the company gains from its acquisitions in the near future. Fluper as one of the Top Mobile App Development Company is committed to bringing you more journeys to keep you inspired and going.
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