It will be nine years ago next March that a start-up named UberCab began operating. This venture, which was later renamed Uber, has become one of the most notable business stories of the 21st century, with the taxi service expanding into multiple other branches. Its business model of users summoning lifts from everyday drivers via smartphone has been copied by numerous companies in other sectors, most notably Airbnb.
The Uber balance sheet testifies to just how big an operation it has become. At the end of 2016, the company was valued at a staggering $62.5 billion, a figure greater than that of long-established motoring giants Ford and General Motors. Having first offered lifts to the public in San Francisco in the summer of 2010, Uber now serves almost 700 cities across 83 countries, with 234 US cities under its wing.
For millions of people worldwide, Uber has changed the way we get from point A to B when driving is not an option. Rather than having to trawl through a directory to find a taxi number, which can be notoriously difficult if the customer is in an unfamiliar location, people can now request a lift through this extraordinary app. It has also offered motorists a convenient way to make extra cash on the side by giving them the autonomy to act as a taxi service.
See how Uber has grown into a multi-faceted global business in this infographic from Southside Motor Factors (http://www.smf.ie/).