Uber is an American worldwide online transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile “app”, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which the software program then automatically sends to the Uber driver nearest to the consumer, alerting the driver to the location of the customer. Uber drivers use their own personal cars.
Let’s find out some crazy facts about it!
1. Uber was founded as UberCab by Garrett Camp, the founder of StumbleUpon, and Travis Kalanick in 2009.
2. The company received $200,000 in seed funding that same year.[better source needed] In 2010, Uber raised $1.25 million in additional funding.
3. Following a beta launch in the summer of 2010, Uber’s services and mobile app officially launched in San Francisco in 2011.
4. Initially,Ryan Graves was appointed as CEO, however, Kalanick replaced him in the role later that year. Graves stepped down to become the company’s COO.
5. By the end of 2011, Uber had raised $44.5 million in funding.
6. That year, the company changed its name from UberCab to Uber.
7. The name “Uber” is a reference to the common (and somewhat slangy) word “uber”, meaning “super”, and having its origins in the German word über.
8. On December 12, 2014, TechCrunch reported that the Chinese search engine Baidu, the mainland’s largest, is expected to make a significant investment in Uber.
9. The deal, the details of which were not shared with the media, was confirmed on December 17, 2014, following a Beijing meeting involving Kalanick and Baidu chief executive and chairman Robin Lee, who made a commitment to connect the search engine’s map and mobile-search features with Uber’s app.
10. Google Ventures invested $258 million in 2013.
11. The Chinese search engine Baidu made an investment in Uber in December 2014 in a deal that also involved connecting Uber with Baidu’s mapping apps.
12. In 2016, Toyota made an undisclosed investment in Uber and looked into leasing options, which could potentially aid Uber drivers financially, a move in response to the other partnerships between Toyota’s and Uber’s counterparts.
13. As Uber grew internationally, it also began to experience disputes with governments and taxi companies in those regions.
14. In April 2014, Uber was banned by the government in Berlin, although the company remains active in other German cities.
15. The ban is still being discussed as of December 2014.
16. Taxi drivers in London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid staged a large-scale protest against Uber on June 11, 2014.
17. In March 2015, UberPOOL was offered in Austin, Texas, in anticipation of the South by Southwest festival.
18. As of May 2016, Uber has pulled their Austin program, due to stricter regulations from the government.
19. Uber classifies its drivers in four ways: Pros, Crossovers, New Enthusiasts, and Part-Timers. The Pros are their partners for the Uber BLACK luxury car service.
20. The Pros have the highest proportion of drivers who have been on the Uber platform for more than six months.
21. Crossovers are uberX drivers who previously drove taxis or black cars, but have only been active on the Uber platform for less than six months.
22. New Enthusiasts are new to the platform, and have taken up driving with uberX consistently.
23. Part-Timers are the largest group on the uberX platform, and the most likely to be seeking a flexible earning opportunity–75 percent of this group hold other jobs besides Uber.
24. 14 percent of Uber drivers are women and 71 percent of drivers have dependents at home.
25. Hundreds of thousands of new Uber drivers sign up on the platform every month. In August 2015, Uber announced its millionth driver had just completed his first trip.
26. In September 2015, Uber gave $5.5 million to support a new robotics faculty chair as well as three fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University.
27. This followed their announcement earlier this year of a strategic partnership with the educational institution that included the creation of the “Uber Advanced Technologies Center” in Pittsburgh.
28. The center is designed to focus on “the development of key long-term technologies that advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere.”
29. The rise of companies like Uber and GrabCar, and the changes they catalysed have started a discussion over the general transition to peer to peer transactions across industries.
30. The parallel rise of platforms such as Netflix, Apple TV, and AirBnB in other industries has led to comparisons with the rise of Uber and debate over whether and to what extent uberisation may displace traditional business models.
31. Uber also has its own print and online magazine specifically for its drivers. The inaugural issue of Momentum Magazine was released in March.
32. Over 50,000 companies enrolled in Uber for Business in its first year of operation. The top four cities for Uber business travel are London, Mexico City, Paris, and Toronto.
33. Uber was the first company to be authorized by the California Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) as providing a reliable and accurate way to recommend fares using GPS data.
34. Uber isn’t allowed to operate in Spain, but that hasn’t stopped them from offering UberEATS, a food delivery service in Barcelona. In the United States, its food delivery arm is called UberFRESH. And in New York, you can use UberRUSH for parcel delivery.
35. Uber utilizes a rating system as a way of encouraging good behavior on behalf of passengers and drivers. Both parties can rate one another on a five-star scale at the end of a ride.
36. If a driver’s average score drops below a 4.6, they could be “fired” (i.e. their account will be deactivated).
37. Uber has also pledged to take 1,000,000 cars off the road in New York City with their UberPOOL carpool program.
38. Already, hundreds of thousands have given the program a try, and it has resulted in at least one marriage.