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Uber was created in 2009 as a concept and a side project, and now has a capitalization of $ 120 billion. How did a company without a single taxi take over the transportation world?

Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber in March 2009. In 2008, Camp lived in San Francisco, which was notorious for the disgusting quality of taxi services.

At that time, many Americans were already using iPhones, which have built-in GPS chips and accelerometers. As an engineer, Camp saw the power of smartphones as a way to make ordering a taxi comfortable. But then it remained a concept.

In December 2008, Garrett and Travis participated in the LeWeb digital conference in Paris, where, due to snowfall, they were unable to order a taxi. It was then that the friends started talking about the project. Kalanick suggested that we do without our own taxi company: it is enough to allow drivers to download the application and work on a free schedule as independent agents. The service could earn on a small percentage of the cost of travel. Kalanick's proposal brought the birth of Uber closer and became his first significant contribution to the development of the future startup.

Due to the abundance of main work, it was only in January 2010 that Camp and Kalanick arranged the first field trials. Everything went well - there were many failures, but overall the service worked.

On May 31, 2010, the official launch of the UberCab and UberCab Driver applications took place - on that day they appeared in the App Store. The very first customers who came from Camp, Kalanick and Graves' twitter quickly fell in love with the service and began to actively recommend it to their friends.

People were fascinated by the opportunity to call a representative car with one tap, and then monitor its approach on the map in real-time and not bother with cash.

Investors appreciated the rapidly growing popularity of UberCab. Already in October 2010, the service received $ 1.25 million. By the end of 2010, a version of the Uber application for Android was released. After that CEO started a public demonstration in Paris.

Then Uber unexpectedly headed for the mass market. The logic was simple: the more people can use the service, the more often drivers will install the application for themselves. This will ensure the growth of competition between taxi drivers, which, in turn, will reduce the cost of services and shorten the time of car delivery.

From that moment on, Uber's expansion into new markets began to resemble an epidemic. The service was launched in a number of countries in Europe, Asia and Africa (including India and Russia) and by the end of the summer of 2014 it was already operating in 205 cities.

By December 2014, the company's value soared to $ 40 billion, and the following year, Kalanick and Camp were included in the Forbes list of billionaires.

Competitors also emerged with popularity, but the company faced the most serious opposition in China - and lost it. Local startups Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache merged into Didi Chuxing. To counter this regional giant, Uber had to spend up to $ 1 billion a year. The company gave up.

And although during the development of the company, they repeatedly tried to expel the company from the market, accusing it of theft, sexism and even murder, when an self-driving car hit a woman. But the company has always found a way out and improved.

In December 2018, Uber filed for an IPO. Against this background, Uber's valuation soared from $ 76 billion to $ 120 billion, which exceeds the capitalization of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler combined.

Today Uber is the largest startup in the United States and one of the most highly rated in the world. The company has 20 thousand employees and 3 million drivers cooperating with it. The service operates in more than 600 cities - with its help 15 million trips are made daily. Both Uber founders are still on its board of directors, with Garrett Camp's fortune estimated at $ 4.6 billion and Travis Kalanick at $ 5.8 billion.

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