by Rod D. Martin
March 16, 2015
Two months ago, Martin Organization Vice President Nicholas Stehle told you that conservatives love Uber; in fact, he gave you the top 7 reasons.
What you might not realize is that there was a war for your business – and Uber won.
Uber is raising money hand-over-fist. Writes BuzzFeed News:
Uber just closed another funding round — this time it scored another $1 billion, bringing its total raise to $4 billion and its overall valuation to $40 billion. That is more than double where it was just six months ago, making it worth a little bit more than Fiat Chrysler and The Gap combined.
The company was founded in 2009. Since then it has grown larger than some of the United States’ oldest and most profitable corporations. But that’s not all.
Not only is Uber winning marketshare and investment dollars, but it’s beating out entrenched political forces as well — including powerful union-run taxi cab companies in places such as Illinois. Like Henry Ford before them, Uber won over regulators and courts by shaking up their market with a dominating and radical new choice for consumers.
“I think the last two dozen Uber petitions that were filed in response to regulatory battles in particular markets [garnered] 500,000 total petition signatures,” Justin Kintz, Uber’s head of public policy for North America, told BuzzFeed News. “That’s a level of civic engagement that few issues have ever created for any sort of political issue, let alone for one that is being driven by an app-based technology company.”
Uber’s customers are themselves the company’s most powerful weapon in its arsenal when big government comes calling.
But here in the United States, Uber’s victory over its competitors, the incumbents, and regulators seems nearly certain. The company is inescapable – it’s simply everywhere. Its customers and, even more so, its investors are passionate about and willing to fight for the service. Whether it’s because of its vast war chest of funding, its deeply connected network of lobbyists, or a simple fear of being branded as “antiquated” or “anti-progression,” regulators have historically bent to the will of Uber. The taxi industry is in retreat. And Lyft and the rest of the ride-hail industry could arguably not even exist without Uber.
There’s plenty of room in the market for Uber competitors, and that’s good. But in an age where government and entrenched taxi cab services use the law to block competition, Uber won over government regulators, legislators, and customers through innovation and far better service. It’s now hard for riders — especially young people — to envision a world without Uber. It’s hard for us too.