Uber - How did this Ride-Hailing Giant Make It To The Top?

Company Profile is an initiative by ListMyStartUp to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Uber.

In the 21st century, every tick-tock of the clock counts and in such a scenario even the idea of waiting in queues for buses or autos does not seem good. Uber Technologies, Inc., came up with an idea to make every tick-tock count and enhance the travelling experience. Uber was founded in the year 2009 by Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar and Travis Kalanick.

Uber hails from the States and has revolutionized the way people travel. Starting as a huge player in the ride-hailing market, Uber later spanned its way into food delivery services, micro-mobility systems (with bikes and scooters), and peer-to-peer ride systems.

Uber - Company Highlights

  • Company Name-Uber
  • Headquarter-San Francisco ( USA)
  • Founders-Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar & Travis Kalanick
  • CEO-Dara Khosrowshahi
  • Sector-Transportation
  • Founded 2009
  • Revenue-$5.78 billion (Q4 2021)
  • Total Funding~ $25.2 billion (2022)
  • Parent Organization-Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Subsidiaries-Uber Eats, Jump, Otto, Postmates, Careem, Cornershop Inc. and More

Uber - About

The US-based ride-hailing company Uber was founded in the year 2009 under the name Ubercab. Uber has been so visible in sharing economy that the post effects of Uber are termed uberization. Uber's cab services occupied a whopping 67% market share in the United States in 2019. While Uber's food delivery services Uber Eats has a share of 24% in the food delivery sector in 2018. The first national expansion of Uber Cab came in the year 2011, which lead the entire of New York to witness the presence of Uber. The decade-long journey for Uber has seen various milestones of success, findings, controversies, and expansion and these altogether have made Uber a household term. At present, Uber cabs operate in more than 72 countries and provide you an option to choose from a wide range of options to travel, from economical rides to two-wheelers, and sedans to SUVs.

Besides, not just cabs, Uber is experimenting to expand in new fields with its services such as Uber Eats (food delivery) and Uber Freight ( logistics). Again through Uber Advanced Technologies Group, Uber is trying to make new developments in the field of self-driving cars.

Uber - USP

To start with, people don't have to wait for their rides anymore, it's just a one-tap thing now. Also, users get a chance to navigate their journey, and payment is also eased with the facilities of the Uber application. Certain highlights help Uber to grab greater revenues.

1.    A CAR FOR EVERY CHOICE- With segments like Uber X, Uber Black, Uber taxi, and Uber SUV they got a choice for everyone.

2.    PRICE SURGE TECHNOLOGY-The price for the ride varies keeping certain parameters such as demand increase, number of drivers available, number of requests made, etc.

3.    RIDES OTHER THAN CARS- Uber has not limited itself to just cars. They have taken their game a notch higher by adding boats, helicopters as well as some other Vehicles to their List. They have a motorcycle pickup service (Paris), a delivery service(San Francisco), and an ice-cream truck delivery service too. But, these options are available in selected geographical locations but it has led them to add new streams of revenue to its business model.

Uber - Industry

The market size of taxis is huge and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.95%. The increasing need for travelling, ride-hailing and ride-sharing services are the main motivators of this growth. The market for the Indian online tax services is set to grow at a rate of 12.93% when last reported in FY20.  

Uber - Founders and Team

Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar, and Travis Kalanick are the founders of Uber. Dara Khosrowshahi is currently the CEO of Uber.

Uber Founders

Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar, and Travis Kalanick - Founders of Uber

Garret Camp

Garret Camp is a serial entrepreneur and billionaire who founded several companies like Expa ( a company that helps startup founders in developing and launching new products) and web discovery platform 'StumbleUpon' which later came to be known as 'Mix'.

Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick is credited with founding Scour (a peer-to-peer file sharing application) and Red Swoosh (a peer-to-peer content delivery network), before bringing Uber to life. From 2010 to 2017, Kalanick served as the CEO of Uber. However, in 2017, Kalanick exited Uber owing to certain controversies.

Oscar Salazar

Oscar Salazar, the founding CTO of Uber is the one who created the initial prototypes for Uber’s customer app, driver app, and dispatch engine. He was on board with Uber from 2009 to 2011.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi initially started as an analyst and later served as CEO of Expedia before joining Uber officially in 2017.

The Uber team currently operates with over 29K employees.

Uber - Startup Story

It was in 2008 when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were attending a conference in Paris. One night during the conference, the duo was looking for a cab, but they could not find any, which made them realize that finding a ride when needed is quite a hassle, and any technology that will ease the process will surely be a hit. However, the initial idea was that of a timeshare limo service, where a limousine (a luxury sedan car) will be owned by many owners on a time-sharing basis.

After Camp came back to San Francisco, he kept contemplating the idea and even bought the domain name Till mid-2009,  Camp along with his friends Oscar Salazar and Conrad Whelan built the very first prototype of UberCab.  Camp then approached Kalanick to join UberCab. In early 2010, UberCab's service was first tested in New York with just 3 cabs. In May 2010, UberCab was officially launched in San Francisco.

Uber - Name and Logo

The name Uber is derived from the German word meaning "above all the rest" a principle Kalanick and Camp wanted for their fledgling company.

The entire company started as a two-person operation. They've also contributed to delivering something revolutionary to society. Uber was originally known as UberCab, for making people grasp that it was a taxi service. The first logo was also straightforward. The business's creator has just finished drawing a large, crimson, and thick letter "U" in Adobe-photoshop. Then he wrote "Uber" on top of it. It has also evolved into a shorter form of the logo. He's also designed the UberCab logo. There were just two thick letters, "U" and "C." This is all there is to it.

However, as the firm grew more serious, the founders understood that the logo needed to evolve too though. In 2016, a one-of-a-kind monochromic expression was designed as the brand's logo. Uber's design team saw the logo as sophisticated yet not excessive. Uber has also established itself and its principles, which has made the firm stand apart.

Uber - Mission, and Vision Statement

Uber's vision statement says, "We are a tech company that connects the physical and digital worlds to help make movement happen at the tap of a button. Because we believe in a world where movement should be accessible. So you can move and earn safely. In a way that's sustainable for our planet."

Uber's mission statement says, "Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone"

Uber - Business and Revenue Model

Uber has a transparent business model. Uber connects passengers who are looking for cabs to cab drivers. While Uber does not have its own cars, Uber drivers use their own cars to provide cab services and pay a percentage of every fare received as commission to Uber.

Uber charges 25% on all fares from its driver-partners. However, there are many reports that hold that the company cuts other hidden charges, thus making the commission charged by Uber higher than 25%.

Uber makes money via the commission it receives from the customers as a result of their trips. Uber takes around 20-30% of the fare, on average, which is charged by the drivers from customers. On busier occasions, Uber puts a surcharge, when it charges somewhere between 1.5X, 2X, 3X or even more based on the demand of the passengers.

Uber - Acquisitions

To date, Uber has made 13 acquisitions -

In March 2015, Uber acquired mapping startup deCarta.

In August 2016, Uber acquired self-driving truck startup Otto. Otto is looking after Uber's self-drive division.

In December 2016, Uber acquired AI startup Geometric Intelligence to do research and improvise its AI technology.

App building startup Complex Polygon got acquired by Uber in July 2017.

Again in July 2017 itself, Uber acquired social app development startup Swipe Labs.

In April 2018, Uber acquired bike-share startup Jump Bikes, to help Uber integrate the bike-sharing option into Uber App.

Uber acquired Careem, which was its competitor in the Middle East, in March 2019.

In June 2019, Uber acquired Mighty AI, in its effort to develop self-driving cars.

In October 2019, Uber acquired Cornershop, an on-demand grocery delivery service for the Latin American Market.

In July 2020, Uber announced Postmate's acquisition. Uber acquired Postmates for $2.65 Bn. Postmates is a leader in delivering your favourite restaurants and a whole lot more on-demand. The consumer-facing Postmates and Uber Eats apps will continue to run separately, supported by a more efficient, combined merchant and delivery network.

Uber acquired Routematch on 16 July 2020. Routematch is known to deliver accessible and inclusive technologies for riders of all abilities. Its mission is to create sustainable mobility ecosystems that leave no person behind. Uber believes that inclusive transportation software can help agencies deliver more value.

Uber announced the Autocab acquisition on 6th August 2020. Autocab provides private hire and taxi operators with technology to run their business, including booking and dispatch software, and also connects them with trips through their iGo marketplace.

On Feb 2, 2021, Uber and Drizly announced that Uber is acquiring Drizly for approximately $1.1 Billion in stock and cash. Drizly is an in-demand alcohol marketplace in the US. Drizly works with thousands of local merchants to provide consumers with an incredible selection of liquor with competitive, transparent pricing. This platform will further be integrated with Uber eats while also maintaining a separate Drizly app.

Uber - Growth and Revenue

Some major growth milestones achieved by Uber are -

  • Uber is currently operating in over 600 cities, across 72+ countries.
  • There are over 3.9 million Uber drivers worldwide.
  • Over 10 billion trips have been completed by Uber worldwide.
  • Each day, over 14 million Uber trips are completed.
  • If we look at the pre-IPO figures, Uber has received an investment of $24.7 billion.
  • Uber's valuation was $72 billion in 2018, which currently stands at around $62 billion in 2022.
  • Uber went public on May 9th, 2019, and Uber's stock is one of the best performers on the NYSE.
  • Uber's monthly active users have been growing constantly. The US-based cab aggregators have seen their monthly active users grow at a CAGR of 48.74% from (Q4 2016 to Q4 2020)

Uber Growth of Monthly Active Customers Y-O-Y

Uber India has resumed its initiative of adding Mumbai's iconic kaali-peeli taxis on its platform, as per the news dated April 9, 2022. The introduction of the kaali-peelis was first started in 2017, but later that was scaled down. Uber currently has 5K+ kaali-peeli (black and yellow) traditional taxis on its platform but only 1/5th of them are currently active.  

Uber has also listed the yellow taxis too in New York recently and for this reason, it has joined hands with Curb and CMT, which is aimed at allowing the riders to book taxis on the Uber cab app. There were many such partnerships of Uber that were materialised in the countries of South Korea, Spain, Germany, and Japan. The New York yellow cabs via Uber will be operational by the end of June 2022, as per the recent reports.

Uber Eats increased revenues by over 200% in 2020. 93 million people used Uber in Q4 2020, which is lesser than 111 million active users in Q4 2019. Looking at the Uber FY2021 revenues, the company has earned $5.78 bn of revenue, which has surged by 83% from what the company earned in Q4 2020.

Uber - Challenges Faced

Cancellation Issues

Throughout the years Uber has faced numerous challenges, the most recent among Uber's challenges is witnessed in the Indian market, which the American ride-hailing giant is planning to dominate in the coming years. However, this is not becoming possible mainly due to the large-scale cancellations done by the Uber drivers, which is a major repellant for Uber users. Both in the case of two major cab aggregators of India - Ola and Uber, the cab drivers are notorious for their repeated cancellations either after finding out that the mode of the payment is online or as they learn about the destination. This pain point has already been addressed by the Ola CEO and Founder, Bhavish Aggarwal, when he replied that the drivers will get to see an approximate location and will know the mode of payment when they accept their rides, Uber was then yet to address this issue. However, as per the reports dated July 15, 2022, the drivers of Uber would now be able to see the destination of the passenger before they accept the ride. The update has been rolled out after receiving thorough feedback from the drivers. This update is believed to introduce transparency and reduce the frustrations of both the drivers and riders.

Uber has been walking in the footsteps of its Indian rival Ola and has made sure that the drivers can also check the destination before they accept the rides. However, this was mentioned as possible only in case the drivers meet a particular trip acceptance threshold. This feature started in May 2022 and was live in more than 20 cities in India.

Uber has come up with a new way to battle the rise in fuel prices and the large-scale cancellations that the app is witnessing lately. The drivers are also unwilling to turn on the ACs of their cabs of late, mainly due to the rise in the prices of petrol and diesel. To mitigate these issues, Nitish Bhushan, the Head of Central Operations of Uber India and South Asia, has mentioned that the company has increased the fares "to cushion drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices across many cities in India.” Uber further announced that as the refusal to turn on ACs has been quite notorious lately, the US-based mobility service provider will take action against the drivers who refuse to turn on the ACs and has repeated complaints about the same. From now on, Uber would be charging penalties and will restrict the app access for such drivers.

Uber Delhi Rape Case

Uber started in India in 2013, and just after foraying into the Indian market that was dominated by Ola, it witnessed a sexual assault episode when a driver in New Delhi sexually assaulted a woman passenger on December 5, 2014. This eventually put a ban on Uber for seven months in the capital of India, and forced Uber to apply for a taxi aggregators license via its Indian subsidiary. The Uber Files has all the information about the company's strategy, about how managed to survive this rape case. However, it also listed that Uber tried to point out the flaws in the background checks for the drivers in India, in an attempt to flip the narrative around.    

The case revealed that the driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav was involved in another sexual harassment offence in the past, and was still given the license. This was the point that Uber focused on rather than admitting mistakes on their part too, in the examination of the verification process for the drivers.  

Uber Discrimination of Specially-Abled Persons

Arman Ali, a specially-abled person, who is also the executive director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), was refused by an Uber driver when he asked him to put his wheelchair in the backseat, who added that it would damage the seat. This went in complete violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The Delhi Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities had issued a show-cause notice to Uber India for this matter. Though this did not initially elicit any response from the cab aggregator, Uber India later expressed its sincere regrets but failed to take any action against the cab driver. Now, the Delhi High Court has received a writ petition against Uber and has given the next hearing date as August 23rd.      

Protests from Traditional Market Operators and Uber Drivers

Ride-hailing apps like Uber has posed a deadly competition for traditional taxi service. Uber has become the obvious choice for many over traditional taxi services owing to the many facilities it provides such as ease in booking and low fares. Thus taxi drivers in different parts of the world have been protesting against Uber and the like from time to time.

Again, protests have been staged by Uber Drivers in different countries as they are not receiving enough income as promised by the company.

Risky Uber Rides

Besides incidents of sexual assault and murder during Uber rides have also been posing a problem for the company from time to time. In its first safety report published by Uber in 2019, it came to light that in 2018, 3,045 sexual assaults, 9 murders, and 58 deaths in car crashes happened during Uber rides in the USA itself. In India also there are many incidents where female passengers have reported physical assault during Uber rides, which has been a serious concern for the company. To tackle this Uber has taken steps to check the criminal records of its drivers and is also working towards adding security features in the app.


The Covid-19 crisis had also hit the company hard. Uber's ride-hailing business dropped by almost 80% during the crisis, which led the company to lay off over 6,700 employees just within a month. Uber fired around 3700 employees in May 2020, which constituted around 25% of the workforce of the company. While Uber Eats has not suffered the blow that Covid -19 has bought, Uber is also reshuffling some of its divisions and closing 45 offices globally, as revealed by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Uber Mumbai office, which was shut down in July 2020, was one of the Uber offices that were shut down. However, the company announced work from home for the employees till December 2020.

Misleading Riders with Fee Warning

Uber has been reportedly misleading the riders by falsely warning them that there could be a cancellation charge, and inflating the estimates of the rides. This has been testified by the Australian watchdog. These reports were against Uber BV, a Netherlands subsidiary of the San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., which according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, had admitted to breaching the Australian Consumer Law. This is why Uber agreed to pay nearly $26 mn Australian dollars (around $19 USD), as per news dated April 26, 2022.

Both Uber and Ola have been facing huge controversies and criticism lately due to the surge pricing, denying ACs, even during the relentless summers, and more. With all these complaints against the Ola-Uber duopoly, another challenge is looming over the giant cab aggregators of India, where Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata will be assembling together to fight the challenges involved in the Indian transportation sector. The Indian billionaires were recently heard to be partnering with each other, and with BluSmart to build a convenient, all-electric transportation system.

Uber - Competitors

Uber has numerous competitors when it comes to its core business as a mobility servicer provider. Some of the Uber competitors include:

  • Ola Cabs
  • Lyft
  • Grab
  • Didi Chuxing
  • Curb
  • Public transport
  • Local taxis

Uber - Future Plans

While ride-hailing will remain the core business of Uber for the nearing years, Dara Khosrowshahi sees a potential world outside cars too. They are aiming at adding buses and trains to their vehicles list too. The pilot project started in Denver back in January 2019, where people are able to see bus and train timings via the Uber app and also buy tickets through the app. Uber Elevate is another vision that company has, which is an aerial ride-sharing system that Uber is planning to introduce in the future. Overall Uber is putting in extra efforts to become true partners of the cities for the long term. With great planning and an awesome team, Uber is surely bound to go places!

Uber India has grown considerably throughout these years that Uber has been operational in the country. The Indian subsidiary of Uber is expected to become a fast-growing and profitable one soon, mentioned Pradeep Parameswaran. Uber's regional general manager for Asia-Pacific wasn't able to specify any timeline for the profitability of Uber's Indian entity but he mentioned that it was not that far away either.  


Who is Uber Founder?

Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar, and Travis Kalanick are the founders of Uber.

When was Uber Founded?

Uber was founded in 2009.

How much is Uber Revenue?

Uber's revenue in Q4 2021 was recorded at $5.78 bn, which increased by 83% when compared with the revenues the company received in the same quarter of the previous fiscal.

Who is Uber Owner?

Uber's Parent Company is Uber Technologies, Inc. It was founded by Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar, and Travis Kalanick.

Who are the competitors of Uber?

The Uber competitors are:

  • Ola Cabs
  • Grab
  • DidiChuxing
  • Curb
  • Local Taxis
  • Public Transport

How to start your own Uber business?

Starting your own Uber business is really easy. No matter where you belong from, if your area is serviceable, then you can certainly make a business for yourself out of the Uber services. You can either serve as an Uber driver-partner, lend your own car to Uber or operate as a fleet operator.

What is the Uber trading name?

The Uber trading name is Uber Technologies Inc.