Uber Technologies Inc. is an American international mobile ride hail company with headquarters in San Francisco, California. The technology allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.
Founded as “Uber Cab” in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp, the company is now valued at around $50 billion.
How Uber was founded:
Kalanick and his friend Garrett Camp were attending LeWeb, an annual European tech conference in 2008. They struggled to get a cab and this motivated them to create a simple solution that would allow someone to hail a cab at the touch of a button.
Challenges along the way had left Kalanick quite despondent about creating new technology, so he needed quite a bit of coaxing from Camp to continue with the venture.
Kalanick credits camp with the vision for what would become Uber.
Camp is a Jewish Canadian entrepreneur who is credited as the co-founder of the app. In mid-2009, he designed and developed the first prototype. As of 2015, he is the 283rd richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of US $5.3 billion according to Forbes.
Now the CEO of Uber, Kalanick studied computer engineering at the University of California and eventually dropped out to pursue his entrepreneurial goals.
He also told Vanity Fair: “I had gone through eight years of real hard entrepreneuring. I was burned. So, I just wasn’t ready yet.” He had been living at home with his parents in his childhood bedroom not long before his trip to Paris after two start-ups had failed to flourish.
The 39-year-old is now at the helm of the multi-billion dollar company and has faced criticism for creating a “win at all costs” culture in the Uber organisation. He is worth an estimated $6 billion according to Forbes.
Uber is now available in over 300 countries worldwide.