Long before Uber became the phenomenon it is today, its founding team created a rather simplistic pitch deck about the “NetJets of car services”. Since the days of UberCab (the startup’s original name) in 2008-09, it has transfigured into a global technology company with formidable presence across diverse segments, including online cab aggregation, on-demand food delivery and even driverless vehicles. To read Uber’s first ever pitch deck, head to the bottom of the post.
Founded in August 2008, Uber’s journey over the last nine years has been nothing short of dramatic. Although the company hit quite a few snags in recent times, what with founder and CEO Travis Kalanick exiting the venture in June amidst pressure from investor Benchmark Capital and controversy surrounding gender insensitivity in the workplace, Uber’s growth has remained remarkably strong.
A lot has changed for Uber since 2008. In its first pitch deck, prepared by co-founders Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, UberCab was touted as a faster, more efficient and luxury alternative to regular cabs.
On the ninth anniversary, Garrett Camp shared the first-ever pitch deck of Uber in a blog post. He wrote,
“Since we just passed the ninth anniversary of the idea of Uber (originally UberCab, in Aug 2008), I thought it would be interesting to share the very first pitch deck we created in late 2008. Thank you to the entire Uber team for turning a simple idea into a platform that has improved so many people’s lives.”
Uber was conceived as a next generation, invite-only cab service intended primarily for “professionals in American cities”. Instead of using the more common Ford Crown Victoria, the company wanted all its cabs to be Mercedes-Benz sedans.
The service could be availed through SMS or one-click requests from “geo-aware devices”. As stated in the presentation, Uber was also planning to integrate hybrid cars with greater environmental benefits into its fleet. Ridesharing/carpooling incentives was also one of the things touched upon in the pitch deck.
By developing mobile-based technologies, the cab aggregation company was looking to tap into the on-demand cab service market in the US, which stood at $4.2 Bn back in 2008. The founders predicted that the original business model of the cab aggregation giant had the potential of raking in anywhere between $20 Mn and $1 Bn in annual revenues.
You can read Uber’s first pitch deck in its entirety here:UberCab_Dec2008
In Q2 of 2017, the number of global trips booked via the platform increased by nearly 150%, reaching an all-time-high of $8.7 Bn. In India, Uber recently added the Unified Payments Interface to its system. On August 23, the US-based company launched UPI integration in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and banking partners Axis Bank and HDFC Bank.
In May, the cab aggregator poured $7.99 Mn (INR 51.64 Cr) into its Indian arm to bolster expansion. Since June 2016, the company’s presence in the country has reportedly grown 2.5x in terms of the number of trips as well as total merchandise volume.
Over the last nine years, Uber’s growth has been a spectacular reminder of its tenacity and resilience. Having weathered numerous storms in recent years, the cab aggregation giant now faces the challenging task of finding the next CEO. Contenders currently being considered for the position are Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. Here’s to many more years of success, Uber!