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Uber

Uber Technologies is an American app-based transportation platform headquartered in San Francisco, California. Launched in 2010, Uber is known for its taxi, private car, and ride-share hailing services. Using the company's app, Uber users hail rides from contract drivers at a variety of price points--often lower than those of traditional taxis. In 2015, the company turned its sights on the business world when it launched a messenger service called UberRUSH; Uber for Business profiles to make it easier to separate a personal account from business use; and UberEvents to help event organizers prepay for rides and distribute Uber passes to attendees. In 2014, the popular service delivered 140 million rides, and in 2015 the company was valued at more than $50 billion--making it the world's most valuable startup.

Uber's most valuable asset is its data, which has been an important part of Uber's business since it first launched. In addition to using user data to improve the Uber experience, the company has also locked in deals to monetize its data with other companies. In 2015, Uber launched a partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts that allows Starwood Preferred Guest members to get points whenever they take an Uber. In return, customers let the ride-sharing company pass useful data onto Starwood. But data has also been at the center of some controversy for Uber, which has been accused of mishandling the reams of data it collects from user rides. And while Uber uses data analysis to determine when to deploy its "surge pricing" during times of high demand, the company has also come under fire from the incumbent taxi industry for its highly competitive low pricing, which has helped it disrupt that sector. Uber has also gone head-to-head with taxi unions in some cities, like Paris, for UberPop--its service that relies on non-professional drivers, who aren't required to pay the steep licensing required of traditional taxi drivers. Uber is currently available in 68 countries, but it plans to double down on what could be its biggest markets yet: In 2015, Uber invested $1 billion in expansions in India and raised $1.2 billion to expand its presence in China.

04Uber

For hustling corporate business

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

Huge, untapped data trove on its users

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

Heavy competition, regulatory hurdles

What to look out for:

A potential IPO
Expansion to new markets
More deals to its sell data

Social media handles:

Twitter: @uber
Instagram: @uber
Facebook: Facebook.com/uber

  • 01 BuzzFeed

    For shaking up media across the globe
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  • 02 Facebook

    For not letting size get in the way of acting like a startup
    Read More

  • 03 CVS Health

    For becoming a one-stop health shop
    Read More

  • 04 Uber

    For hustling corporate business
    Read More

  • 05 Netflix

    For giving unexpected audiences exactly what they want
    Read More

  • 06 Amazon

    For evolving from commerce to cool cloud services
    Read More

  • 07 Apple

    For acing its China test
    Read More

  • 08 Alphabet

    For finding a better way to bet big
    Read More

  • 09 Black Lives Matter

    For turning the conversation about race into results
    Read More

  • 10 Taco Bell

    For combining corn, beans, meat, and cheese into genius
    Read More

  • 11 Robinhood

    For removing all the barriers to stock trading
    Read More

  • 12 Universal Studios

    For breaking the box-office record with canny casting and marketing
    Read More

  • 13 Huawei

    For taking the upper hand in the global mobile competition
    Read More

  • 14 Cyanogen

    For offering a more open, customizable version of Android
    Read More

  • 15 InMobi

    For making mobile ads you actually want to see
    Read More

  • 16 Novocure

    For attacking tumors with electricity
    Read More

  • 17 Bristol-Myers Squibb

    For treating tumors with T cells
    Read More

  • 18 Amgen

    For making cancer therapy go viral
    Read More

  • 19 Spotify

    For finding the beat in the data
    Read More

  • 20 GE

    For leading the industrial Internet of Things
    Read More

  • 21 Warby Parker

    For prescribing social good at home
    Read More

  • 22 Riot Games

    For being in an e-sports league of its own
    Read More

  • 23 Farfetch

    For putting the world's best boutique-fashion retailers on a global stage
    Read More

  • 24 Everlane

    For matching our clothes to our values
    Read More

  • 25 Kit and Ace

    For designing luxe casual wear from next-generation performance fabrics
    Read More

  • 26 Slack

    For becoming the creative home of our work lives
    Read More

  • 27 Rethink Robotics

    For bringing precision to robotic automation
    Read More

  • 28 SoulCycle

    For cultivating a nation of spinning enthusiasts
    Read More

  • 29 Sixteen String Jack Productions

    For inspiring action along with comedic outrage
    Read More

  • 30 SANAA

    For upping the ante on architectural biomimicry
    Read More

  • 31 Airbnb

    For democratizing authentic, local travel experiences
    Read More

  • 32 Generator

    For making hosteling hip
    Read More

  • 33 BeMyGuest

    For taking Asian travelers off the beaten path
    Read More

  • 34 Social Capital

    For building a 21st-century change agent
    Read More

  • 35 Hudl

    For changing the game with mobile video
    Read More

  • 36 Box

    For becoming the backbone of major businesses
    Read More

  • 37 Fitbit

    For taking health tracking mainstream
    Read More

  • 38 Snapchat

    For creating a vibrantly addictive alternative to traditional TV
    Read More

  • 39 Sama

    For redefining what it means to be a not-for-profit business
    Read More

  • 40 Midroll Media

    For transforming podcasting from passion to phenomenon
    Read More

  • 41 Affirm

    For offering credit that doesn't suck
    Read More

  • 42 Earnest

    For building a better student loan
    Read More

  • 43 Aspiration

    For using transparency to rebuild trust in banks
    Read More

  • 44 Vail Resorts

    For creating the ultimate travel loyalty program
    Read More

  • 45 Noora Health

    For improving the lives of surgery patients in India
    Read More

  • 46 Shyp

    For eliminating the hassle from sending packages
    Read More

  • 47 Shopify

    For enabling businesses to pursue retail everywhere
    Read More

  • 48 Babbel

    For helping anyone hablar como un local
    Read More

  • 49 Jaunt

    For becoming the first VR media company
    Read More

  • 50 Hasbro

    For mastering the modern art of corporate storytelling
    Read More

Data

competition
Lyft, Didi Kuaidi, Ola Cabs, GrabTaxi
people
Cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick
Cofounder and Chairman Garrett Camp
valuation
$62.5 billion
public or private
Private
staff
4,000 employees
1.1 million "driver-partners"
users
1 billion rides since 2009
headquarters
San Francisco, CA

More About Uber:

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