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The Sky is the Limit: How Uber’s dominance of a market allows it to chase next-gen dreams

Uber released financial data to Bloomberg on April 14, 2017, something it is in no way obliged to do. The image it presented was one of rapid growth and expansion, skyrocketing revenues and incredible levels of spending. One would hope to see this level of performance; private investment in the company has grown consistently since its launch in 2009 as UberCab, generating nearly $10bn from investment firms since then, and it has managed to spend more than $8bn investing in its own growth.

Private investment growth will need to continue if Uber is to remain relevant; the company has expressed plans to research both self-driving and flying car services and the automotive technology industry is growing at a record and exponential rate. But Uber is not alone; both Google and Elon Musk’s Tesla are considering self-driving cars as the next step in automotive development and in order for Uber to join the big league in Silicon Valley, it will need extensive financial backing.

While the company has been embroiled in multiple scandals, from sexual harassment to the CEO publicly arguing with drivers, both investors and customers don’t seem to mind. The only question that investors truly care about is “is this company growing?” and the only question for customers is “is this service better and cheaper than traditional taxi services?”

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to both of these, as the centralized, app-based system behind Uber is easy to use and customer numbers are skyrocketing.

This unusual move of releasing official financial data is a clear play by Uber executives to develop interest in Uber from further afield, and the increasing private investment that CEO Travis Kalanick is hoping for will allow the company to delay an IPO, keeping Uber out of public hands while enabling it to keep up with the titans of next-gen technology and chase its dream of flying taxis.