If you live in London, use car-sharing services, and know a guy named Marvin, you may want to start being extra nice to him, at least for the next year. You see, Marvin is the billionth rider to travel in an Uber vehicle — a milestone that Uber is very proud of, and has gifted Marvin one year of free Uber rides.
One billion sounds like a lot, and it is for a relatively new company that has been fighting for the ability to exist and operate from its early and not so humble beginnings; facing opposition from taxi drivers around the world while also dealing with government regulations, numerous lawsuits and competitors like Lyft. Current estimates peg Uber handling about 2 million rides per day. By comparison, New York taxis alone provided over 485,000 daily trips in 2014. Of course that is not exactly a fair comparison, and one could instead butter up the feat by pointing out that it took longer for things like the Internet (10 years) and smartphones (5 year after the iPhone premiered) to hit 1 billion users. Users and rides are of course different metrics, but hey, numbers are fun. Speaking of users, Uber reportedly has approximately 8 million, still in its infancy when you consider the potential for future growth.
The billionth ride occurred fittingly on Christmas eve as Marvin unknowingly got into a blue Honda Insight and was transported by his driver, Ara, from Hackney to Hoxton. In addition to Marvin’s free year of rides (up to £10,000 worth), the company is also gifting Ara an all-expense paid trip to the city of his choice — with the only catch being that it has to be a city where Uber operates. The company will also donate an undisclosed amount to Hackney Pirates, a charity located in the neighborhood where the memorable trip began.
Making the event more notable is that it comes just days after SideCar, a ride sharing competitor, called it quits, failing to gain popular or financial ground on Uber, which is quickly approaching a $65 Billion valuation.Source: Uber