Uber seems to be making the headlines for all the wrong reasons these days. This latest incident, when one of their driverless cars hit and killed a pedestrian is not the exception. But then, the company has always courted controversy.
To start off with, they had the metered taxi industry up in arms. Was that really surprising, though, considering that Uber discounts and promo codes and even normal Uber prices were so much lower than anything else on the market?
It was a business idea that paid off big time. You could have a fleet of vehicles, each individually owned and operated on hand, and simply earn money for being a facilitator. Drivers joining up had jobs already but could make a bit on the side. For some, becoming an Uber driver became a full-time occupation.
In fact, there are around seven million registered Uber drivers on board with the company. And, considering that Uber provides about 1 billion rides in a single day, that number does look set to increase more.
Not bad with a business started with seed funding back in 2009. Especially when you consider that investors who had invested just $20,000 in the next round of fundraising had an investment worth $40 million in 2014. Talk about phenomenal growth.
That is not to say that Uber is welcome everywhere. In Vancouver, British Columbia, for example, the service is banned. It is also banned in Taiwan and China, parts of Australia and some European countries. Uber drivers are barred from airports and other locations in some American cities.
Is Uber allowed in your city or a city you are planning on visiting? Read our infographic below to find out and learn even more about this fascinating company.