Uber Technologies Inc. is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. By May 28, 2015, the service was available in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. Since Uber’s launch, several other companies have copied its business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification”.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 and the app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates. Klout ranked the San Francisco-based company as the 48th most powerful company in America in 2014. By mid-2015, Uber was estimated to be worth $50B.
Pricing and payments
An Uber ride in Bogotá, Colombia. Visible on the dashboard is a phone running the Uber app.
Uber’s pricing is similar to that of metered taxis, although all hiring and payment is handled exclusively through Uber and not with the driver personally. In some cities, if the Uber car is travelling at a speed greater than 11 mph (18 km/h), the price is calculated on a distance basis, otherwise, the price is calculated on a time basis. At the end of a ride, the complete fare is automatically billed to the customer’s credit card. Uber has said its prices are the premium that the customers pay for a cab service that is not only reliable, but also punctual and comfortable.