Weekly Featured Company: Uber

Founded Headquarters Sector Employees Revenue Total Investment Recent Investment
2009 San Francisco Mobile & Apps 300 $10bn $1.5bn $1.2bn

An idea whose time has come
There’s no stopping Uber. They remain seemingly unfazed by transportation groups, governments and even lower-cost rivals such as, Lyft, Sidecar and Haxi. The fact is, Uber keeps driving ahead at a phenomenal speed. Today, Uber operates in 205 cities globally, in 45 countries, and six continents. What started out as small black car service in San Francisco in 2009 is now valued at $17 billion.

Now how has Uber grown so quickly? First and foremost, Uber found a solution to a problem affecting millions of people. Uber’s success comes from its transparency in availability, in that their cars are widely available and customers are informed instantly if an Uber car is available to pick them up. Users can see a photo of their driver and follow the car’s location using GPS. There’s no exchange of cash as fares are deducted directly from the customer’s account. To fuel growth, Uber recognised early that they needed to focus intensely on one market initially (San Francisco) to create local network effects from launch. This fuelled word of mouth, important media coverage, and grew them a highly targeted user base in the Bay Area tech scene of early tech adopters.

Today, Uber maintains one of the highest valuations for a private technology company in the US. It recently raised an eye-popping $1.2 billion from investors.

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