Brand Stories - Uber from UberCab.com to UBER.com

Uber from UberCab.com to UBER.com

Uber
Founded: March 2009
Valuation: $62 billion +
Original Domain: UberCab.com
Preferred Domain Name: Uber.com


In March 2009, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick founded UberCab and launched the company’s services in 2010 in San Francisco, California. The company www.ubercab.com as its URL until city and state regulators forced it to drop the “cab” part.  

In the succeeding years, Uber continued its rapid expansion, both in terms of size and markets. In February 2011, it was valued at $60 million but it’s now valued at more than $62 billion. From its home base in San Francisco, its services are now available in over 180 cities across the United States and in over 60 countries worldwide. But its car services are just the beginning of its business empire because the company’s also exploring varied ways of using its delivery platform. UberEATS, a localized food delivery service, is among the most recent rollouts now available in a dozen major cities. Uber has also announced it will help in the distribution of AMBER alerts.  

At around the same time UberCan changed its name to Uber, the now-recognizable brand, the company also purchased uber.com from its then-owner, Universal Music Group (UMG). Since Uber was cash-strapped at the time, it offered UMG a 2% stake in the company to acquire the domain name. UMG accepted the offer but Uber later bought back the stake for $1 million. Esentially, Uber acquired its now-priceless domain name for $1 million – and for that, hats off to Uber.  

While Uber may have initially been forced to change its name, this was a move that would have happened at some point in its history anyway. Uber, after all, is a technology company with continual efforts in using its delivery platform in other ways so as to monetize its brand. Uber, too, is a highly adaptable brand that can fit a wide range of products and services, such as UberHEALTH, UberEATS, and UberEVENTs, and be valuable in the process. The term “uber” means being the best and the company is working to be just that. They even have a portfolio of uber domain names to prove it. Indeed, it’s uber cool! 

    TAKEAWAY:


There was no chance for UberCan to become a verb.

The company needed the domain as a representation and reflection of their increasing market authority and consumer popularity. The term “uber” by itself already did so when your brand becomes a verb, you know that it’s working. Uber being a technology company, the “cab” wasn’t a perfect fit, too, just as AmazonBooks for Amazon.com wasn’t.  

https://www.uber.com/

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