Uber is a private taxi and ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 by former CEO Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The company was originally called UberCab and the mobile app launched in June 2010. The Uber app allows you to hail a private cab using your mobile phone’s GPS. The company has several different levels of service:
- Uber Black: Black car executive service.
- UberX: Cheapest service, non-luxury sedan
- UberXL: UberX with a larger vehicle (SUV or minivan)
- Uber Pool: Ridesharing service only available in select cities.
The company raised $49.5 million in funding in 2011 which helped lead an international expansion in 2012. The company first expanded into Canada, then the UK and Australia.
2013 saw the company expand into Singapore, Seoul and South Africa.
The company has faced strong opposition from the regulated cab industry. In many cities, a cab medallion can cost several hundred thousand to a million or more dollars. Uber has greatly disrupted that industry. The company has also faced public outcry for their “surge pricing” which increases fares by a multiplier depending on local demand.
Some countries have banned Uber altogether. Notably, the company was banned from operating in Germany in early 2015.
In 2014, the company began UberEats, a food delivery service. Uber anticipates being able to provide UberEats service to at least 70% of the continental US by the end of 2018.
The company stated in May 2019, that it would start banning clients with low ratings, but declined to give an official number.
Uber went public on the NYSE May 10, 2019, under the ticker symbol UBER. The stock briefly rose but returned to its opening price within 6 weeks.
Uber currently operates nearly worldwide and in more than 785+ major cities. The company has raised $2.8 billion in funding to date.
Even with the lower ridership due to the coronavirus, Uber will most likely make a profit in 2020.
Headquarters for the company remains in San Francisco, California.