A Brief Corporate History of Uber

1492: European explorers arrive in the New World, introducing horses, sugar cane, smallpox, and smartphones to America:

Columbus

1849: Jeremiah T. Uber and his three sons arrive in the port of San Francisco from Panama. They open Uber & Sons, a modest dry goods store catering to gold miners and prospectors. With his venture capital funding running low, Jeremiah pivots the business into providing on-demand horse-drawn carriages.

The first Uber ride request is sent via telegram:Western Union Draft

1929: The Great Depression nearly sinks Uber’s business when a stock market crash and 25% unemployment severely curtails public desire for private chauffeurs.

A desperate foray into on-demand food delivery backfires when Uber is criticized for using dynamic pricing to charge more for turkey on Thanksgiving:

1930s prices

 

1944: With war raging in Europe and the Pacific, Uber temporarily suspends its budding on-demand transportation business and builds an app to help the U.S. Army dispatch precision airstrikes and mechanized infantry deployments.

Uber’s First Airborne Escalade Paratrooper Division turns the tide of the war against the Axis:

Paratroopers

1984: After 135 years in business, Uber re-invents itself as a modern technology platform, taking advantage of the latest developments in computing and telecommunications. ETAs come down from 78 hours to an amazing 41 hours, making getting a car virtually instantaneous.

Though most requests are sent and received via Fax, Uber turns the industry on its head when it launches its revolutionary pager app:

Pager

 

2037: Uber launches the “Pre-car” product, using psychic creatures suspended in a rich nutrient bath to predict when you’re about to have a boring conversation at a party so that a car can be sent to your location before you know you need one.

ETAs improve from 3 minutes to negative 15 minutes:

Minority Report

 

Thank you for joining us on this brief tour of Uber’s rich corporate history.

-Uber Team

Sign Up to Ride
Featured articles

Making Our Roads Safer—For Everyone

A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.

In the Driver’s Seat: A Closer Look at the Uber Partner Experience

New technologies are creating opportunities no one could have imagined. To understand Uber’s place in that trend, we commissioned a survey of our driver-partners and put together a comprehensive analysis.