Uber NYC has launched

May 4, 2011 / New York City

We are #superpumped to announce that Uber has officially gone multi-city as we drop ‘Secret Uber‘ testing and launch in New York City –  our first expansion outside of San Francisco.

Launch Highlights

  • Big investment for launch supply : We have access to 100 cars during this initial launch phase
  • Official launch dinner Tuesday night with New York’s tech royalty : Dixon and Naveen in the house!
  • New York Tech Meetup : Uber demo to the core of NY’s tech community

What’s Uber?
For those who aren’t as familiar with us, and don’t read UberCrunch, err… TechCrunch, Uber is revolutionizing urban transportation with mobile technology, algorithms, and tons of innovation. We are ‘Everyone’s Private Driver’. You hit a button on your phone and within minutes a car appears to whisk you on to your destination.

For New Yorkers, it couldn’t be better. Uber brings the convenience of a yellow cab, the quality of a luxury limo, and adds an Uber cherry on top – on-demand mobile requests, car tracking via your smartphone map and a completely automated payment system.

What’s our focus?
Rolling out a complex transportation network in any city is a big challenge. Doing it in New York City is taking it to a whole new level. New York is the most sophisticated and complicated transportation market out there. Its size, density, and congestion are daunting.  The competition is fierce AND keep in mind that launching in a city is a chicken and egg problem. Riders won’t use the system unless there are lots of drivers close to them, and fleet partners/drivers won’t adopt Uber’s technology unless there are riders using it. You can’t even try to take the whole city all at once… um, can someone get me 5000 Escalades pronto?!

So where did we land? Well, we’re going after PAIN POINTS. The big ones like rain, taxi shift-change, events, and ultimately outer-boroughs are obvious. But even more interesting is we’re also going after those hundreds of micro-pain points all over the city. Go out on the streets and ask people – every New Yorker has a few that they’re passionate about. Uber is going where New Yorkers get stuck, where the options are few and far between, and bringing everything we can to make life easier – just check the app.

How are we going to do it?
Never underestimate the power that math, modern technology, and a beautiful product experience can have on a mature industry. We’re going after age-old NYC transportation problems with PhDs in tow, applying routing algorithms, innovative home-grown supply chain management solutions, sophisticated statistical analyses, minute-by-minute heat maps of expected demand, supply positioning, the works. On top of that we’re aiming to create a beautiful product experience that provides transparency that our users can trust.

Why New York?
A lot of folks think New York is too complicated. Too competitive. Too hard. It’s all of the above and then some (#hatersKeepOnHating). But ever since we launched in San Francisco, we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of inbound inquiries and requests for service in New York – far beyond the levels of other cities. In fact, before a single car was on the system, we had 1000+ Uber riders in New York registered with credit cards on file.

1000’s of Uber requests mapped across NYC


Add that 1 in every 4 taxi and limo dollars goes through this island, coming here was a no-brainer. It also didn’t hurt that Garrett Camp, Uber’s co-founder and part-time New York resident, couldn’t stand another day without @Uber_NYC!  New York City is the ground transportation Mecca and as we work to build a national brand, it only make sense to get here before copycat competition does.

The folks who rock Uber value their time, they appreciate nice things with a taste of luxury, and loathe inefficiency. NYC is a perfect combo of people who move fast, love amazing experiences, and respect innovation that makes their lives easier. Uber’s system does all of these things.

We’ve got a huge opportunity to improve the lives of many New Yorkers who find themselves stuck in those FML transportation situations, AND we’re excited to take the challenge head on.