Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.
Luxury, on-demand, private driver service Uber will soon be allowing its customers to summon ice cream trucks and cheaper taxis according to the NY Times.
Somewhat odd, and presumably not high on its customers feature request list, ice cream trucks will soon be available to Uber customers in Boston. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick explains:
“It’s kind of fun. That’s part of how we roll.”
Bostoners will also be able to request stretch limos as opposed to the standard black town car Uber has become synonymous with. Private airplanes next?
Interestingly, and presumably more pleasing to its investors, Uber is entering the mass market by allowing its customers to reserve less luxurious cars, hybrids.
From this Wednesday, in San Francisco and New York, Uber will begin giving customers the option of selecting one of its current range of black town cars, which cost a hair-raising 40 to 100 percent premium on standard taxis, OR, a hybrid car, which will cost between 10 and 25 percent more than a standard taxi.
According to the NY Times, Uber managed to persuade its partners to purchase 50 hybrid cars specifically for the launch.
I met with Kalanick recently and expressed my frustration at the pricing of its service, among other things. I explained that I felt it was only a matter of time before one of the many competing services (Hailo, GetTaxi, Cabulous, Ride Charge) would undercut Uber and provide perhaps not as luxurious a car, but a perfectly adequate vehicle for getting from A to B and for a third of the price. Kalanick said I should stay tuned and that Uber had no intention of only catering to the luxury end of the market, it wanted the entire market.
True to his word, Uber’s move towards total market domination has officially begun and with its recent launch in London, Uber isn’t just settling with conquering the US, the company has plans for world domination. With $43 million in funding and a growing brand, it has the resources to make it happen.
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