Fate has a habit of keeping a scarecrow in front of an orchard. Life has a culture of wrapping its most beautiful gifts in the most difficult parcels. Things are only harder at the start. After passing the first exam, the rest is just continuous assessment.
This is what we learn from Uber. It took over five years for Uber to reach a milestone of a billion trips. But it took the same Uber an astonishingly six months to get up its 2 billionth ride. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick made the announcement that his company had spiraled up to its two-billionth trip on June 18th — with a delicious additional detail that that the two billionth car ride was actually 147 trips that began at the same time in 16 countries.
“These trips happened in 16 countries on five continents, from Costa Rica to Russia and from China to Australia,” Kalanick writes in a blog post Monday. “The longest of the bunch lasted more than an hour as the rider and driver worked their way across Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. The shortest, a POOL trip in Changsha, China, lasted just three minutes.”
In the mood of celebration, Uber is giving back; doling $450 to each driver as well as $450 of free trips to each rider who accounted for these 147 rides. “It took five years to reach our billionth trip, six months to reach the next billion … and we’ll hopefully reach our third even more quickly,” Kalanick merrily relished.
Uber is counting its fortune bountifully at the moment, as it had raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabian investors sometime in early June; making up for billions in additional investment sourced across the last two years. The service is proudly operating in 450 cities globally. The two billionth ride comes as one fragrant deodorant for Uber’s latest sweats in acquiring new drivers to its fleet as well as hooking up new riders.