What on earth is happening at Uber? The company, which in recent months has continued its rapid growth, has been busy disrupting the taxi industry globally since its inception five years ago. Unfortunately, the company appears to be causing not only controversy – some of which is inevitable when a new business model upsets an entrenched industry such as the taxi and limo business – but getting itself into hot water all over the place, including most recently in the U.S marketplace and political scene. This begs the question: Will the company’s board rein in the CEO and management team before regulators step in, or will the company’s arrogance prove to be literally a fatal flaw?
Uber seems to be taking the world by storm, disrupting the taxi industry and creating controversy everywhere, especially in Europe. The latest attention-getting company news, on June 6, was about a new $1.2bn. round of venture and other funding that gives the business a post-money valuation of $18.2bn. What’s going on? Are VCs and other investors hyping a promising new mobile app just to generate another massive IPO payday for themselves? Or is there something more substantial afoot? Astonishingly, Uber is already serving passengers in 128 cities in 37 countries, and doubling revenues every six months. Other industries such as rental cars, package delivery, auto makers, and even other transportation firms are becoming wary of the potential impact on their businesses as Uber eyes other target markets. How can incumbents in the taxi industry deal with this new threat in their midst? And how big can this thing get?