Uber to quadruple its staff in the next 12 months, undecided on a future IPO

Uber to quadruple its staff in the next 12 months, undecided on a future IPO

Uber plans to quadruple the size of its staff headcount within the next year, CEO Travis Kalanick said today at SXSW.

Speaking onstage to Dave McClure at a Lean Startup event organized by 500 Startups and Eric Ries, Kalanick said that the company would be growing from 200 staff to 800 within the next 12 months.

Kalanick didn’t share which parts of the world Uber plans to expand in, but there’s no denying that the company has faced fierce opposition from established taxi firms in many markets it has entered. Asked about this, Kalanick said that Uber had to call on the support of drivers and customers to stay in busniess.

He likened this to the anti-SOPA movement but in individual towns and different times. For example, Uber is holding what Kalanick describes as a “political rally” in Denver on Monday. He added that “It’s easier to do business in Paris than Colorado.”

mcclure kalancik

On the company’s UberX rival to ride-sharing startup Lyft (a clone of Uber, according to Kalanick), the CEO said that “If there’s got to be a low-cost Uber, it’s got to be Uber,” He said the the company would compete on quality at all pricepoints.

When asked about whether Uber is an “IPO-able company,” Kalanick seemed cautious, citing the examples of Facebook and Groupon as when IPOs aren’t necessarily the best moves for a company.

He said that the company’s numbers were “very healthy” and that there is currently so much money in the private markets that “you have to think about whether you can achieve liquidity without going public.”

So, don’t rule out a future Uber IPO, but it seems by no means a certainty.

Header image credit: Getty Images

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