Uber, Uber, an American internet company that connects drivers to motorists, is the world’s largest funding startup and has a valuation value of USD 40 billion (Rp 492 trillion). Uber in total has received funding of USD 2.7 billion (Rp 33 trillion) during five years of operation.
In comparison, the position for the largest funding round of recordings was held by Facebook at USD 1 billion (Rp 12.3 trillion) in 2011. Airbnb, the marketplace rental room, fills the third position with a funding round amount of USD 450 million (Rp 5.6 trillion) a few months ago. While Uber itself this year has announced two rounds of funding, which each has a value of USD 1.2 billion (Rp 14.8 trillion).
What is the story behind Uber’s establishment? We encapsulate it for you:
Two entrepreneurs are formed
The architect behind Uber’s birth is Garret Camp and Travis Kalanick. Both are veteran entrepreneurs who each have already sold their technology company.
Garret sold StumbleUpon, an internet cruiser to eBay in 2007 for $ 75 million (Rp 923 billion). While Travis Kalanick has sold Red Swoosh, the company shares files to Akamai worth USD 19 million (Rp 234 billion).
Garret and Travis met in 2008 at a technology conference in Paris, where Garret told of his idea to run a comfortable and affordable luxury car service. A year later, Uber (then called UberCab) was launched.
Want to solve cab problems in San Francisco
Garret has the idea of solving a big problem in San Francisco – the difficulty of getting a taxi. Initially, Garret and Travis agreed to split the cost of the driver, the Mercedes S Class car, and a parking lot in the garage. Then the two co-founders will be able to browse the city of San Francisco using Uber app on iPhone. However, so much has changed since then.
Uber currently has five choices of vehicles: Taxi, Black (luxury sedan), SUV, LUX (luxury car choice), and UberX (car service from fellow users). In addition, Uber also has a number of products that are still in testing stages like Essentials and Rush. Essentials is a service delivery of essential goods such as snacks, soft drinks, and medical supplies. And Rush is a courier service.
Uber currently operates not only in San Francisco, but in more than 250 cities in 50 countries. They have plans to create one million jobs by 2015, and have dreams where riders no longer need to buy a car because driving with Uber will be a cheaper alternative later on.
Had changed CEO
In mid-2009, since Garret was still working full time after repurchasing StumbleUpon from eBay, he appointed Travis as Chief Incubator. Travis’s duty at the time was to lead Uber operations temporarily, to create product prototypes, and to find General Manager to run full-time company operations until its first launch in San Francisco.
The position was judged appropriate for Travis who was still resting after running his startup non-stop for 10 years.
Together with Oscar Salazar, Garret’s friend during college, the three of them launched the Uber prototype product in New York in January 2010. Not long after that, they managed to find the right person to fill the position of General Manager: Ryan Graves (picture above). Funny thing is, Ryan’s job interview stems from his reply to jobs on Twitter.
In August 2010, Ryan officially served as CEO of Uber. Within two months, Uber changed its name from UberCab to Uber, obtaining funding of USD 1.25 million (Rp 15.4 billion), and getting orders to ban operations in San Francisco. In December 2010, Ryan changed his position to COO, and the CEO position was replaced by the co-founder Travis.
Full of controversy
For a company of Uber that has a business model connecting drivers and drivers in more than 250 countries, controversy becomes inevitable, both external and internal.
From the external side, Uber has many challenges to convince local authorities that they are running a legal business. A number of municipal governments had time to close Uber services, call it San Francisco and California, but ultimately Uber managed to get permission to operate in those cities. However, the company continues to get pressure from other municipal governments such as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok.
Beyond that, many actors in the traditional taxi industry do not want Uber’s presence in their city. These actors, especially taxi drivers, often protest in various cities. In fact, this anger could lead to the destruction of Uber car in Paris.
While from the internal side, one of Uber’s biggest problems lies in the driver’s part. A number of Uber drivers have been accused of kidnapping a female rider, violating a rider, to harassing and rape. All the riders have passed Uber’s selection.
Recently, SVP business Uber Emil Michael expressed highly controversial comments on a dinner banquet, in which a number of media were present in it. There, Emil said that he gave the idea to spend money of USD 1 million (Rp 12.3 billion) to conduct a campaign of revenge against the journalists. He explained that he wanted to find the secret of embarrassing a number of journalists and publicly disclose them.
CEO Travis Kalanick has apologized through his Twitter account about it.
Uber has a lot of rivals in this realm. In America for example, Uber is faced with Lyft and SideCar, a company that also deals with connecting drivers and drivers.
Uber is at odds with his rivals, especially Lyft, who has the hallmark of a pink mustache in their car. Lyft CNN briefly reported that Uber’s employees had booked and canceled a trip on Lyft 5,560 times in the last year. It is considered to have reduced the amount of revenue as well as the availability of Lyft drivers.
Not only that, a number of Uber employees who became riders Lyft has also been trying to recruit the riders to go to Uber. Even Travis once admitted trying to sabotage Lyft’s fund-raising efforts by contacting some of Lyft’s potential investors first and telling them that Uber would raise even more money from what Lyft was doing at the time.
However, Uber counterattacked by saying that Lyft had booked and canceled a trip in Uber 13,000 times! What a hot competition.
In Asia, Uber is faced with GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi, as well as Ola in India. Although all three have different business models, connecting riders with taxis (Uber does not have its own fleet of taxis in Asia), but the same market wants to go: people who want to travel by car.
Although Uber seems to have big money, GrabTaxi and Ola are not opponents that can be set aside. Focusing on Southeast Asia alone, GrabTaxi has become Southeast Asia’s largest funded (with publishing) company with a final funding round of USD 250 million (Rp 3 trillion). Ola itself recently received a fund injection that is not less great: USD 210 million (Rp 2.6 trillion).
In Indonesia alone, Uber still has a small operation. They focus on the strategic area of SCBD area. However, Uber still has not settled a dispute with the city government of DKI Jakarta related to the legality of its business. In the homeland, Uber competes with GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi.