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

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

The transportation industry saw a significant transformation in the 21st century due to the surge in demand for travel experiences that were both convenient and efficient. Innovations opened the door for revolutionary shifts that enabled businesses to completely change the way people travel.

In this context, Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar, and Travis Kalanick launched Uber Technologies, Inc. in 2009, skillfully incorporating technology to not only meet but also surpass the constantly changing expectations of travelers across the globe.

Uber, originating in the United States, began as a major player in ride-hailing before diversifying into food delivery, micro-mobility (including bikes and scooters), and peer-to-peer ride systems.

Uber has become increasingly popular due to its emphasis on convenient and efficient travel experiences. The company has over 131 million active monthly users. Uber's position as the go-to option for a wide range of transportation needs has been cemented by this multidimensional strategy, establishing its prominence in the market.

In this article, let's explore the world of Uber—its founders, business model, revenue model, funding, marketing strategy, and more.

Uber - Company Highlights

Headquarters San Francisco, California
Sector Transportation
Founder Garrett Camp, Oscar Salazar and Travis Kalanick
Founded 2009
Website uber.com

Uber - About
Uber - Industry
Uber - Founders and Team
Uber - Startup Story
Uber - Mission and Vision
Uber - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Uber - Business Model
Uber - Revenue Model
Uber - USP
Uber - Challenges Faced
Uber - Funding and Investors
Uber - Investments
Uber - Mergers and Acquisitions
Uber - Growth
Uber - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns
Uber - Competitors
Uber - Future Plans

Uber - About

Uber, established in 2009 as Ubercab, has significantly shaped the sharing economy, leading to the popular term "uberization." The company has emerged as a major force in the food delivery industry, holding a significant 24% share through Uber Eats in 2018 and an amazing 67% market share in the U.S. ride-hailing sector in 2019.

Since its first national launch in 2011—which brought Uber to every corner of New York—Uber has experienced a decade of triumphs, setbacks, and international growth. Uber offers a vast range of transport alternatives, from affordable trips to two-wheelers, cars to SUVs, and operates in several countries, making it a popular and practical option for customers globally.

Uber - Industry

The global transportation services market, as per an analysis report from Precedence Research, displayed a substantial size of $7.31 trillion in 2022. Forecasts show an impressive development trajectory, with estimates to reach roughly $15.94 trillion by 2032. This is an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.11% throughout the 2023–2032 prediction period.

Remarkably, in 2022, the Asia-Pacific area was the biggest contributor to the transport services industry. This strong growth is a sign of the growing need for effective and varied transportation options on a worldwide level. The industry is poised to play a significant role in determining the direction of global communication and commerce as it continues to develop and adopt new technologies.

Uber - Founders and Team

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

Travis Kalanick,  Garrett Camp, and Oscar Salazar Co-Founders of Uber (Left to Right )
Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp, and Oscar Salazar Co-Founders of Uber (Left to Right )

Garret Camp

Garrett Camp, co-founder and Chairman of Uber, holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Software Engineering and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary. Beyond his academic achievements, Camp is a serial entrepreneur and billionaire, having founded successful ventures such as Expa and the web discovery platform 'StumbleUpon' (later known as 'Mix.com').

Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former CEO of Uber, is a renowned entrepreneur with a history marked by the creation of Scour.net and Red Swoosh. After studying Computer Engineering and Business Economics at UCLA, his leadership at Uber ended in 2017 due to controversies. Following his exit, Kalanick assumed the role of CEO at CSS and 10100, seamlessly transitioning into new ventures in the tech industry.

Oscar Salazar

Oscar Salazar, the co-founder and 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.

The Uber team operates with 10,000+ employees, as per LinkedIn.

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 UberCab.com. 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.

Travis Kalanick at Stanford Technology

Uber - Mission and Vision

Mission - Uber mission statement says, "Movement is what we power. It’s our lifeblood. It runs through our veins. It’s what gets us out of bed each morning. It pushes us to constantly reimagine how we can move better. For you. For all the places you want to go. For all the things you want to get. For all the ways you want to earn. Across the entire world. In real time. At the incredible speed of now."

Vision - The vision of Uber is "We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion."

Uber Logo
Uber 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.

Uber Tagline is "We reimagine the way the world moves for the better."

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Uber - Business Model

Uber has revolutionized the transportation industry with its transparent and innovative business model. Uber acts as a middleman between independent drivers who operate their own cars and consumers looking for taxi services, all through a digital platform. Uber matches drivers and riders via special apps, and an algorithm is used to match the two parties. Notably, Uber charges an average of 15% to 30% commission from each booking and runs on a commission-based business model rather than owning any cars.

This creative approach has established it as a front-runner and industry leader, serving as an inspiration for the creation of Uber-like business platforms in a multitude of sectors. Its ride-sharing services' effectiveness is enhanced by a dynamic pricing structure that adapts to supply and demand. Essentially, Uber's transparent business approach has transformed transportation and established a benchmark for the larger sharing economy.

Uber - Revenue Model

Uber makes revenue from different sources. Some of them are listed below:

Rides Commission:

  • Uber's main source of revenue is the commission it receives from each ride. The commission ranges, on average, from 15% to 30%, depending on the national model.

Surge Prices:

  • Uber uses surge pricing during rush hours, raising fares to keep up with increased demand.
  • Both drivers and Uber gain from this dynamic pricing structure, which increases revenue during peak hours.

Ride Cancellation Charges:

  • Uber has a strict policy on ride cancellations; cancellations made closer to the scheduled trip time will result in greater fines.

Premium Rides:

  • Uber charges extra for these upmarket services, including luxury rides in branded, high-end taxis.
  • Uber makes more money when it offers premium rides.

Advertising and Promotions:

  • Uber uses the aesthetics of its platform to promote itself by displaying sponsored content from other companies.
  • Taking advantage of Uber's strong brand recognition, this advertising model has grown to be a substantial source of revenue.

Other Services:

Uber has expanded into a number of industries beyond its primary ride-hailing service, such as food delivery through Uber Eats and freight shipment through Uber Freight.

  • Uber Eats: This service involves bringing customers' meals from nearby eateries. Uber collects fees from patrons and eateries, which is one of its sources of income.
  • Uber Freight: Uber Freight specializes in freight shipment and charges shippers and carriers a fee for effectively connecting them via its platform.

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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 grab greater revenues.

A Car For Every Choice - With segments like Uber X, Uber Black, Uber Taxi, Uber Pool, Uber Comfort, and Uber SUV, they got a choice for everyone.

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.

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 in 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 their business model.

Uber - Challenges Faced

Like any other business, Uber has a number of challenges to overcome that could have an impact on its operations, bottom line, and general success. The following are some of the major challenges of Uber:

Regulatory Hurdles:

Due to numerous governments' and authorities' claims that Uber's business model violates current regulations, the company is facing significant regulatory obstacles that could result in prohibitions and limits in some areas.

Legal Difficulties:

Drivers are suing Uber in order to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors, leading to legal disputes. Legal complexity is increased by lawsuits pertaining to safety-related issues, such as claims of inadequate protections against harassment and assault.

Safety Concerns

For Uber, ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers is a significant concern. The corporation has revised policies and processes in response to criticism regarding insufficient safety precautions.

Financial Struggles:

Uber struggles with profitability even with its high valuation. Its cost structure and business strategy have undergone strategic changes as a result of investor demand to demonstrate sustained profitability.

Impact of COVID-19:

Uber's ride-hailing company has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak because of travel restrictions and lockdowns. Rider and driver safety concerns have grown more intense, adding another level of difficulty for the corporation.

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Uber - Funding and Investors

Uber has witnessed a total of 33 funding rounds and has accumulated a total funding of $25.2 billion.

Here are some of the funding details for Uber:

Date Stage Amount Investors
September 14, 2020 Post IPO Debt $500 million -
April 26, 2019 Post IPO Equity $500 million PayPal
March 25, 2019 Secondary Market - -
February 1, 2019 Venture Round - -
October 18, 2018 Debt Finacing $2 billion -
October 10, 2018 Secondary Market - -
August 27, 2018 Corporate Round $500 million Toyota Motor
May 23, 2018 Secondary Market $600 million TPG, Coatue Management, SharesPost Investment Management & Altimeter Capital
December 28, 2017 Secondary Market $7.7 billion SoftBank Vision Fund
December 28, 2017 Private Equity Round $1.3 billion SoftBank Vision Fund

Uber - Investments

Uber has made a total of 24 investments. Here's a look at the some of the investments of Uber:

Date Company Name Round Amount
August 10, 2023 Serve Robotics Venture Round $30 million
June 14, 2023 Everest Fleet Corporate Round $20 million
December 6, 2021 Serve Robotics Seed Round $13 million
November 4, 2021 Aurora Post-IPO Equity $1.8 bilion
November 4, 2021 Lime Convertible Note $418 million
August 11, 2021 Joby Aviation Post-IPO Equity $835 million
June 8, 2021 Waabi Series A CA$100 million
March 2, 2021 Serve Robotics Seed Round -
December 8, 2020 Joby Aviation Corporate Round $75 million
December 7, 2020 Aurora Corporate Round $400 million
May 7, 2020 Lime Venture Round $170 million


Uber has exited from five companies: Aurora, Uber, Joby Aviation, Uber China, and Xchange Leasing.

Uber - Mergers and Acquisitions

Uber has made 13 acquisitions to date.

Here are the acquisition details:

Company Acquired Date Deal Value
Drizly February 2, 2021 $1.1 billion
Autocab August 6, 2020 -
Routematch Software July 16, 2020 -
Postmates July 6, 2020 $2.7 billion
Cornershop October 11, 2019 -
Mighty AI June 18, 2019 -
Careem March 26, 2019 $3.1 billion
JUMP Bikes April 4, 2018 $200 million
Complex Polygon July 14, 2017 -
Swipe Labs July 14, 2017 -
Geometric Intelligence December 2016 -
Otto August 2016 -
deCarta March 2015 -

Uber - Growth

Some major growth milestones achieved by Uber are -

  • Uber is operating in 10,000+ cities as of 2023.
  • It has access to rides at 700+ airports as of 2023.
  • There are 5.4 million Uber drivers worldwide as of 2023.
  • Each day, 23 million Uber trips are completed as of December, 2023.
  • Uber's valuation was $72 billion in 2018, which stands at around $130 billion as of 2023.
  • It has completed 10 billion trips worldwide as of July 2018.
  • Uber went public on May 9th, 2019, and Uber's stock is one of the best performers on the NYSE.


Uber Financials FY21 FY22
Operating Revenue $17.4 billion $32 billion
Profit/Loss Loss of $496 million Loss of $9 billion

Uber - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

Uber Campaign

In September 2023, Uber celebrated its remarkable ten years in India with a touching campaign that touched its loyal drivers. The campaign, which was conceived by Dentsu Creative and executed by Gan.ai, adopted a customized strategy by showcasing actor Sonu Sood. Uber celebrated its milestone in a very special way by giving drivers, passengers, and staff personalized and carefully crafted movies.

This was a kind way to show appreciation for everyone who has contributed to the company's national success. The event was made even more remarkable and unforgettable by this creative campaign, which not only recognized the drivers' contributions but also emphasized the close relationship that Uber has built with its community over the previous ten years.

Uber - Competitors

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

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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 as per news report of 2020. 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 as per news report of August 2022. 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 FY22 was recorded at $32 billion, which was recorded $17.4 billion in FY21.

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
  • Lyft
  • Grab
  • Didi Chuxing
  • Curb

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.

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