How Uber’s Muddled Identity Has Propelled it to Start-up Infamy
Since its inception in 2009, Uber has taken off faster than almost any other recent start-up. According to Business Insider, the projection for Uber’s revenue in 2015 is $10 billion. With the company taking in 20% of every transaction, Uber sits pretty with $2 billion after paying drivers. All ten of Uber’s first wave cities bring in the most revenue for the start-up. However, time will tell what Uber’s 140+ other cities can bring into the company in the future. As resounding as $10 billion is, it could easily become an abysmal thing of the past for the catapulting San Francisco start-up.
Despite these astounding numbers and the seemingly bright future in store for Uber, the company hardly turns a profit. With nearly all the revenue spent on marketing to recruit users and drivers, the ride sharing service is often left with little for themselves. Regardless, these astronomical numbers are still astounding for any five-year-old business.
Business Insider also revealed that Uber’s revenue is projected to grow 300% in the next year, and another 300% in 2016. Business Insider was able to obtain leaked Uber financial projections, showing that Uber generated about $20 million per week in late 2013. Uber’s last total valuation exceeded $18 billion, but sources believe the company will go public with a $50 to 100 billion valuation in coming years.
All of these numbers beg one question - why is Uber worth so much so soon? What makes Uber different than most taxi services is that it functions in real time - no reservations are accepted. Payment is also instant, so no fumbling with cash or figuring out tips at the end of a ride. Additionally, Uber started out as a luxury black-car service but tried its hand at more affordable options. The versatility of options acts as another draw for users.
However, there is still one thing in Uber’s back pocket that could only propel it even further. Car-calling is only the beginning. Uber is also considering delving into packing delivery, food services, and even furniture. They have even dabbled in allowing customers to instantly hail bicycle package delivery services, flowers, ice cream trucks, and even helicopter rides.
But with this sudden and rapid success comes great responsibility. The well-being of both users and drivers involved with Uber has often become compromised over the past few years. Since Uber maintains that is a technology company, simply syncing up people in need of a ride with drivers, it has often tried to wriggle its way out of liability for nearly every possible mishap. With the onset of new services they’ve been experimenting with already, Uber can only lean on this technology-based identity further. However, from reported kidnappings, assault and rapes to lackluster insurance coverage, Uber has a long way to go before it quality of product matches its sudden surge of success. Until then, the thought of Uber expanding into more services is alarming and unnerving at best.