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Could ‘Uber’ be the new force to reckon with?

by on November 25, 2013

Uber is a venture-funded startup and Transportation Network Company based in San Francisco, California that makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire. The company arranges pickups in San Francisco Bay, Bangalore, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lyon, Paris, Berlin, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, London, Melbourne, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Munich, Phoenix, Stockholm, Sydney, Baltimore, Detroit, Milan, Sacramento, Rome, Taipei, Singapore, Zurich and Montreal.
Initially, Uber drivers had cars such as Lincoln Town Cars, Cadillac Escalades, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S550 sedans. After 2012, Uber added a wider selection of cars to market to a broader cross-section of the market, called UberX. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app. Using the apps, customers can track their reserved car’s location.

It’s Roots!
Uber was founded as UberCab by Garrett Camp, and Travis Kalanick in 2009. The first prototype was developed by Garrett and Travis with help of Oscar Salazar & Conrad Whelan, both friends of Garrett from grad school. In early 2010 Travis then met Ryan Graves, who became Uber’s first full-time employee to launch San Francisco. Uber service was officially launched in San Francisco in June 2010 with Ryan Graves becoming CEO in August of that year. Ryan Graves later stepped down from his role and Travis Kalanick was made the CEO. Ryan is currently the VP of Operations and a Board Member.
The domain name “uber.com” had been owned by a social networking and blogging company which had shut down its services in September 2008. In 2010, the domain name was transferred to the Uber cab service via a purchase from Universal Music Group.
Uber’s mobile app launched in 2010 in San Francisco, on iPhones and Android phones

The Present!
Last week Uber rolled into it’s 60th city – Moscow. It was California, Tokyo and Montreal the week prior. Jacksonville and Abu Dhabi the week before that. Uber’s global growth is happening fast. But not only is the brand launching in new cities every week, the demand for Uber within each city is also climbing quickly. That trajectory has been particularly remarkable over the past year:
•Global growth greater than 20% per month in each of the last two months
•Many cities already generating more than $100mm/year

It’s Future!

This kind of expansion means hundreds of thousands more cars must come onto the Uber system. So, in true Uber fashion, they have found an innovative solution to power billions of dollars in car purchases. Today, Brand Weekly can announce that, Uber has launched a pilot of a financial platform – initially available in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Boston – that will significantly reduce drivers’ monthly car payments, help partners previously unable to obtain financing and get more cars on the road more quickly. Uber is all about moving people, and with this financing platform we look forward to doing that for 100,000 transportation entrepreneurs and their millions of Uber customers.

Uber is partnering with auto manufacturers – GM and Toyota – and leading financial institutions to reduce operating costs for drivers and get cars on the road faster. The key to this new platform? Uber partner-drivers have a robust, reliable cash flow through the Uber platform – every fully utilized car on the Uber system grosses over $100,000/year. That kind of cash flow lowers the risk of financing drivers and means better access to cheaper credit than otherwise available on the open market.

“Collaborating with a technology company like Uber is a great opportunity to introduce our latest products to Uber users and partner-drivers. GM and Uber are innovating together to revolutionize transportation alternatives in cities around the country.” Steve Girsky, GM Vice-Chairman

The earning potential of a driver on the Uber platform is said to be unmatched across the industry, and Uber’s growth and expansion mean those earnings will continue for years to come. This program is the first in a series of steps that will help Uber scale in existing and new cities. By streamlining capital investments for existing and would-be drivers, this program also brings the Uber opportunity of turnkey entrepreneurship within reach to even more drivers across the country.