Uber rich: App-based taxi service is valued at $17 billion

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Want proof of just how much app-based solutions can disrupt established businesses? Try the fact that Uber, the Android- and iOS-based alternative to traditional taxi services, has just been valued at $17 billion.

The valuation comes on the back of a new round of venture funding for the 5-year-old company, which saw investors pour in another $1.2 billion. This makes Uber one of the most valuable startups in tech history.

Currently the company operates in more than 120 cities in almost 40 countries around the world. However, it’s got its eyes set on expanding into more cities — which brings with it the matter of funding.

“Our vision is to offer a way for people to get around cities without having to drive a car,” says CEO Travis Kalanick. “If you can make it economical for people to get out of their cars, or sell their cars, and turn transportation into a service, it’s a pretty big deal.”

Certainly it’s another example of just how important the app ecosystem on both Android and iOS can be when it comes to shaking up the way we do business.

It’s not just Uber execs who are set to make mad loot, either. Uber drivers earn considerably more than the average taxi driver: UberX drivers working 40 hours a week reportedly pull in around $90,766 a year in New York and $74,191 in San Francisco. (The average non-Uber taxi driver earns around $30,000.)

Recently Uber reportedly considered switching its drivers from iPhones to Samsung-manufactured Android handsets. While customers can use Uber on either an iOS or Android handset, the drivers’ system runs only on iOS.

Source: BusinessWeek

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