In recent years, plenty of mobile and online based businesses that create direct connections between service providers and people who need services were launched. This lead to public outcry of the big corporations that felt threatened for their share of business. This is just one of the parameters that shows how successful these tech startup companies can become. One of the most prosperous ones is Uber, a digital transportation network, founded in 2009.
What Is Uber?
Uber is a digital transportation network and a mobile application that connects people who need transportation services to people who are offering them. The Uber app is used to navigate drivers during transport and process payments when the ride is over. Prices of the rides are determined automatically by the Uber algorithm and they relate to the current supply and demand on the market.
In record time, Uber managed to become increasingly popular and it is currently one of the biggest pain in the necks for over-priced regular taxi services. Uber founders managed to climb up to the top by carrying out these 7 important steps, that are common for all successful tech startup companies.
Step 1: Identifying the Problem
Travis Kalanick’s fruitless search for a cab in Paris in 2008 served as inspiration for founding of the biggest transportation network of our time. He managed to successfully identify the organizational problems of Paris taxi services (which is not much different or less complicated from other services in big cities around the world) and to use it for development of this great app.
Step 2: Finding the Solution
With the help of his friend Garret Camp, Travis managed to make the application that will solve the problems of finding rides in big cities.
Step 3: Founding a Company
This step is much harder then most of people think. Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp founded UberCab company in 2009 in San Francisco. Founding a company in United States is only one of the options entrepreneurs have. The other one is incorporating business on foreign soil. Company incorporation in Singapore, for example, is easy and painless, which leads to the conclusion that US is maybe not as perfect as we thought when it comes to incorporating businesses.
Before deciding to found a company in their country of origin, business owners should also check the requirements and advantages of each off-shore destination that enables foreigners to found their corporate enterprises.
Step 4: Funding
This is also one of the trickiest parts of launching a successful business. Uber received venture funding from First Round Capital and group of super angel investors. In next few years the company also received almost $50 million of A Series funding from various companies, including Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs etc.
For finding generous funders, entrepreneurs need to be as transparent as possible, when it comes to product features or services they offer. They need to clearly emphasize the advantages of their solution and to be in constant search for new investors.
Step 5: Promotion
Since its foundation, this transportation network was always in public focus. Sometimes because of its obvious advantages, and sometimes because of the protests from cab drivers and organizations that escalated with the attack on the Uber’s car on Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
Incidents and outcries from cab associations, city authorities or even countries’ governments served as a great promotional tool, because they improved the image of Uber as a company that’s trying to fight the current nonfunctional and corrupted system of taxi services.
Step 6: Constant Tech Upgrades, Improvement of Customer Approach and Company Growth
Uber is constantly improving its algorithm, especially the part that deals with handling transactions. After the 2014 Sydney Hostage Crisis, when Uber ride prices were four times above normal, the company apologized to the app users and refunded their expenses, which is a great example of good customer approach.
The company is also thinking about expanding to courier package delivery services and online food orders. Pilot testing apps called Uber Fresh (for food delivery) and Uber Rush (for courier services) are already launched in Santa Monica, CA and on Manhattan, in NYC.
Step 7: International Expansion
First international destination where Uber services were offered was Paris, and since then, this network spread to dozens of other locations across the globe. When it comes to international expansion, company incorporation on some of the off-shore locations around the world can be very lucrative.
Some Other Successful Tech Companies That Disrupted An Industry
Development of AirBnB was very similar to that of Uber’s. This company was developed by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia in 2007 and it is a mobile app that connects people who need lodging and the ones that are ready to provide lodging services. The website and the app are operated by AirBnB.
Inc had a similar quest to find funders, just like UberCab. The company also had a very successful international expansion and now, more than 78% of all bookings are made outside the United States.
This and some other successful companies are currently building the brave new world of mutual trust and respect that was lost for so many years somewhere in-between corporate wilderness.
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