In today’s world, there are millions of new ideas for startups, companies and various services, individuals wish to build and the figures are increasing rapidly day by day. But it remains to be a fact that not all initiatives succeed and that not all startups are able to make it to the top, so much so, that it has become a norm.
Uber became the most expensive start-up in the history of the world. Today, Uber is trying to sell the part of its shares to investors for over a billion dollars. The company wants to send the obtained means to the business expansion and to fund ongoing operations. In 2013, Uber was valued at $3.5 billion. In the same year, it also managed to attract more than 260 million dollars of investment.
How did Uber become the most valuable startup?
Everyone knows and loves the story about two students who created a unique service from nothing and became billionaires. But no, Uber’s history has nothing to do with this scenario. At the time of its launch in 2009, the creators of this service had tremendously huge experience in doing business and an equally huge starting capital.
For example, Travis Kalanick began to earn money while still being an eighteen-year-old entrant. Then, a young man organized the courses to prepare for the entrance exam. Later he took part in the creation of the file-sharing Scour and in a few years before launching Uber, he had already created his own sharing service called Red Swoosh Media. In 2007, Red Swoosh was sold for $23 million, which was what made Kalanick a millionaire.
On the other hand, Kalanick’s partner, Garrett Camp also became a millionaire by creating the search engine service StumbleUpon.
Despite the huge differences, Camp and Kalanick managed to organize a business together, bringing great income to their creators. It has made them one of the most successful startups in the world.
The idea of Uber was coined in Paris; when the two friends could not find a taxi in a big city for almost an hour. That day Kalanick and Camp first began exploring the idea of their future success, Uber.
In March 2009, they founded UberCab in San Francisco and at the end of 2011, the name was shortened to “Uber”.
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Growth and expansion
For six years, Uber has been growing rapidly but although the developers had impressive personal wealth, they were constantly looking for ways to attract the external investment. In 2010, the investment fund First Round Capital has allocated $1.25 million.
By the end of 2011, total investments amounted to $44.5 million.
With the increase of capital, the amount of investment poured into the company had only grown ever since. For example, in the summer of 2014, when the value of Uber was $17 billion, the number of major U.S. investors, including Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, and BlackRock Inc, had invested in the company a staggering figure $1.2 billion.
2009 marked the year of launch for Uber from the home base of New York City and till date continues the city brings the company a huge share of income. The first foreign city where Uber has appeared was Paris. According to the latest data, the company is now valued at $62.5 billion and it is present in dozens of countries and hundreds of cities. The expansion is not slowing down.
The reasons for this success
One of the main reasons for the rapid success of Uber, of course, was the rich experience of Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in making things happen. In addition, at the time the service was launched, they already had an extensive collection of useful connections. All this had a positive impact on the reputation of the company. It is obvious that investors are more willing to deal with experienced people they may have heard of or may already know.
Don’t forget, when Uber started in 2009, the trend of the economy of collaborative consumption became increasingly popular. Perhaps, if at that time Kalanick and Camp did not start the project, there would be other entrepreneurs for sure who would be able to create something similar. In other words, the market was simply ripe for the emergence of something like Uber.
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The owners manage the services hard and safely. Numerous protests by taxi drivers and conflicts with governments of different countries could cause serious damage to the company, but it seems like Uber only got benefits from it. The company simply ignores the prohibitions and uncompromisingly pursues its own policy. Kalanick is not afraid of experiments with the shape of business.
Therefore, for example, in India, Uber has launched a service with rickshaws.
In the summer of 2015 in Istanbul, they tried to use UberBOAT for the first time. As the name implies, it is a service where you can order a boat to transport the goods and passengers across the Bosporus. Thus, the company tries not only to enter new national markets but also “to be localized”, adapting to local conditions. This process on a global scale is called by experts “globalization”, from the combination of “global localization”. Moreover, Uber is one of the companies that try to “globalize” with maximum efficiency.