Uber made some impressive announcements at its San Francisco headquarters for the fifth anniversary of the mobile taxi service. Chief executive Travis Kalanick revealed one million drivers have worked on Uber and it is adding “hundreds of thousands” of new drivers every month.
The ramp on Uber’s growth is massive, steadily moving upward from 2010 to 2013 and escalating in 2013 and 2014 to massive heights. It has 26,000 active drivers in New York, more than the entire Medallion workforce and its San Francisco drivers make more revenue than the entire taxi industry in the city.
It is not just the United States where Uber is popular. In London, Uber has over 15,000 drivers contracted. In Paris, 10,000 taxi drivers use the mobile app to earn money. Even in Chengdu, China, where Uber controls a measly five per cent of the market, 22,000 drivers work on the platform.
Global investment will power Uber to a higher valuation, as it looks to settle issues in India and South Korea. Uber faces challenges in all parts of the world as regulatory offices start to clamp down on mobile taxi services, alongside accusations of unfair pricing, rape charges against drivers and poor business practices from executives.
Even with the issues surrounding Uber, it is hard to argue against the overwhelming success of the platform over the past two years. Uber has risen in valuation from $35 to $50 billion (£22 billion to £33 billion) in under a year, bolstered by movements in other delivery markets.
Uber plans to create a new merchant delivery service and is expanding its food delivery service to target other cities. The inclusion of front door delivery could put companies like UPS and FedEx out of business, since Uber can afford to charge less for delivery to both the consumer and merchant.
The planned IPO will not be coming this year however. Kalanick made no mention of going public and rumors say Uber will start filing for a NYSE IPO in early 2016.