Uber Technologies Inc. is a transportation network company (TNC) offering a variety of services. The services range from ride hailing services, food delivery and carpooling, besides a platform for bicycle sharing. Initially launched in San Francisco in 2011, Uber has since expanded rapidly, currently operating in more than 700 cities worldwide.
Ever since its inception, the US-based company has aggressively acquired other businesses and start-ups. Uber’s acquisitions include both competitors as well businesses engaged in separate domains. This article provides you a complete chronological list of Uber’s acquisitions.
EARLY Uber ACQUISITIONS
Uber’s first public acquisition was in early 2015. On 3 March 2015,Uber moved to acquire DeCarta for an undisclosed amount. DeCarta is a San Jose based mapping technology startup.
It provides a range of mapping services, including in-map search, location, application program interface,turn-by-turn navigation, among other features.
Uber explained that since it relies heavily on mapping technology for its operations, DeCarta’s acquisition will fine tune its services. As per the deal, 30 of DeCarta’s 40 employees will be retained by Uber.
In August 2016,Uber announced its first major acquisition by acquiring Otto. The deal was valued at $680 million. Otto is an American self driving technology company.
They specialise in the development of driver-less trucks. After the deal, Uber shifted Otto’s projects to put focus on Uber’s self-driving car program.
Uber’s acquisition of Technology companies:
In late 2016
For this purpose, Uber acquired Geometric Intelligence. It is a two-year-old company that focuses on machine learning techniques based on cognitive science. Geometric Intelligence’s 15 member staff was also absorbed into Uber.
Uber did not publicly disclose the deal value. Uber also announced that Geometric Intelligence’s employees would be leading Uber’s AI arm.
In July 2017,Uber completed two small scale acquisitions. The first one was Complex Polygon, a US based product studio that studies, researches, designs and launches mobile applications.
These applications are primarily aimed at bringing people together on a common platform.
5) Swipe Labes:
On July 2017,Uber announced that it had bought Swipe Labsin yet another undisclosed deal. Swipe Labs is a startup that develops social product applications to improve users’ mobile communication experience. Uber said that the move was to improve the driver experience on the Uber platform.
In December 2017,Uber and its Russian rival Yandex decided to join forces in a $3.7 billion merger agreement. Uber and Yandex agreed to a joint venture, operating cab hailing services in 127 cities across Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
As per the deal, Uber was to contribute $225 million and own a 36.6 percent stake. Yandex, on the other hand, was to contribute $100 million and own a 59.3 percent stake in the new business.
The remaining 4.1 percent stake was to be jointly owned by the employees. It was Uber’s second retreat in the global market, after its sellout to the Didi Chuxing in China.
On 26 March 2016,Uber announced that it will sell its operations in Southeast Asia to Grab, a Singapore based company. The value of the buyout was not made public, though it was expected to be several billion dollars.
In return for the sale, Uber gained a 27.5% stake in Grab. Uber’s CEO also joined Grab’s board of management.
With a view to expand into areas of transportation beyond cars, Uber acquired JUMP bikes in a $139 million deal in April 2018. JUMP is a scooter and electric bicycle sharing, operating mainly in the United States. According to the deal, JUMP’s bicycles would be available on Uber’s official app.
As of October 2018,JUMP was operating 4000 bicycles in 13 cities in the US, Germany and Portugal. With this acquisition, Uber demonstrated its willingness to bring multiple modes of transportation within their organisation.
In May 2018,Uber acquired a small restaurant technology company called OrderTalk. Founded in South Africa, OrderTalk is a technology company with expertise in point-of-sale interactions between customer orders and partner restaurants.
Currently operating out of Dallas, its acquisition was to integrate Uber’s food delivery service. Uber didn’t disclose how much it paid for OrderTalk.
In March 2019,Uber completed the biggest acquisition in its 8 year history. On 26 March, Uber’s Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshah announced Uber’s acquisition of its Middle Eastern ride sharing rival, Careemin a $3.1 billion deal.
According to the deal, Uber was to pay the Dubai based Careem $1.7 billion in convertible notes, and $1.4 billion in cash. The deal will enable Uber to control Careem’s operations in 15 countries.
The agreement ended Uber’s costly business war with Careem in the Middle East market. It was also the first time Uber manages to buy a local competitor.
Thus, over the years, Uber has shown extreme flexibility and willingness to expand its footprint in its areas of operations, as well as to enter new territory.