Uber Inc. Rides-on-demand Growing Uber fast!
Need a ride? There’s an app for that!
Rides-on-demand is an app created to connect passengers to rides available in your immediate area – you simply summon your ride using your cell phone. Never heard of it? It is certainly catching on. Uber originally launched in 2010 in San Francisco, and has grown rapidly ever since, now operating in 128 cities across 37 countries. Competitors include Lyft, Wingz, and Flywheel, but Uber is well ahead of the pack. According to this article from The Globe and Mail, Uber recently snagged $1.2 billion in funding; making it one of the fastest growing companies worth $18.2 billion just four years after it began, it is “one of the highest valuations ever for a Silicone Valley startup.”
Backed by such major investors as Goldman Sachs and Google, this company and its app are changing the way we look at drive-for-hire services. This forward thinking company not only offers rides at the touch of a button, but also delivers roses on Valentine’s Day, Christmas trees to your door and small package courier services too.
The easy to use app takes advantage of three technologies, GBS, Smartphones and Social Networking, finding rides for those who need it, and filling those empty passenger seats too. Sounds like a win-win. This ride sharing program is great for areas that do not provide public transit systems; it reduces traffic congestion and mitigates the environmental impact of traffic too.
Sounds great! No, so says the taxi services. The huge success of this app sparked a massive protest by taxi drivers across Europe, slowing traffic in major cities during the morning commute. The taxi industry, which hasn’t seen competition in decades, argues that these apps break the laws governing taximeters and road-side passenger pickup, and that it threatens their livelihood. Uber maintains the app complies with local regulations and responded by offering its passengers a 50% discount during the protest. Brilliant business strategy. Definitely a dot com to watch.
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