Uber news: Is the tech rideshare startup worth $40B or about to crash?

Investors pump more money into the tech rideshare startup despite a string of public relations nightmares

By Nathan Legg
Posted on Dec 7, 2014 - 9:49am

TAMPA, Fla. (Daddyhood.net)  

Uber NewsUber, the tech car ride share startup, has über PR problems.

In fact, the Uber news today delivers horrific global headlines from India to the United States.

Uber Driver in India Accused of Raping, Beating Female Passenger

Indian woman alleges rape by Uber taxi driver

What Delhi Uber rape proves: Booking cabs via app doesn’t guarantee safety

A woman who hailed a ride with Uber in New Delhi using the company’s smartphone app was raped by the driver, police officials in that country report.

Police there say the driver picked up the woman, 26, turned off his cellphone so he could not be traced and then diverted from the planned route.

The woman who works for a finance corporation was returning from a dinner. She used the mobile app to call for an Uber ride to get home.

During the ride, she fell asleep. When she awoke, police say, she found herself in a secluded area and was attacked.

Police say the driver and Uber now face criminal charges.

More bad Uber news

Just a couple weeks ago, more bad Uber news. This time it focused on a colossal public relations failure. An Uber recruiting document leaked to Buzzfeed detailed Uber’s willingness to be ruthlessness as it battled cab companies in cities around the world.

The document detailed how Uber attempts to “weaponize” facts in its public relations battles with taxi companies.

“Once we have the research, we have to weaponize and disseminate it,” the document said.

The negative Uber news narrative actually began before that with sexist remarks by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who said his position as CEO helped him pick up women. He nicknamed Uber’s smartphone app, which connects riders with for-hire drivers in over 225 cities worldwide, “Boober.”

And last month another top executive at company, Emil Michael, unabashedly boasted a plan to target, research and publicly smear a journalist who was reporting negatively on the tech car service company causing negative Uber news.


 

Michael’s comment triggered a massive public relations crisis for Uber.

#DeleteUber is now a popular hashtag on Twitter that is filled with lots of negative Uber news.

“The company has serious public relations issues,” says Glenn Selig, a nationally recognized expert in crisis public relations with The Publicity Agency. “If you look at Uber news, it is a mixture of headlines about the company adding new cities and negative stories about the company.

“Uber is apparently driven to become number one no matter what.”

That makes some customers feel uncomfortable. But may, in fact, be what some investors want to hear.

Uber has received more money from venture capitalists than any private company this year. It now has a valuation of $40-billion, higher than American Airlines or Kraft Foods.

Is that ridiculous or reasonable?

“It gives me a nosebleed,” Sam Hamadeh, CEO of PrivCo, a research firm, told The Associated Press. “You’re being asked to buy on pure speculation.”

Good or bad, it’s undeniable that people are talking about Uber.

Nathan Legg is a contributing writer for Daddyhood who enjoys most writing stories about dads teaching their sons life lessons, sports and finance. Born in Pittsburgh and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Nathan and his dad’s relationship revolves around sports. Together they watch and discuss all things Black n’ Gold on a daily basis.