“I’ve beaten them.”
Those were the words Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick used to describe rideshare competitor Lyft — one of the most highly valued start-ups in the world — in a video that went viral earlier this year. But few have focused on that claim. It’s worth reviewing, especially for investors. Uber is worth almost nine times as much as Lyft’s $7.5 billion valuation, but it’s far from ending the competition.
This year so far has not been kind to Uber. In the span of a few months, it has endured allegations of sexual harassment, a major legal challenge to its autonomous driving technology, revelations that Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to kick Uber out of the Apple app ecosystem because of Uber programming designed to fool Apple’s own engineers, and most recently a Department of Justice criminal investigation into its practice of “greyballing,” or using software to elude government officials trying to stop the service in cities where it had not yet been approved.
An angry Kalanick caught on video yelling at an Uber driver, contended, “We have to [drop prices]. … We have competitors; otherwise we’d go out of business.”
Kalanick is correct in this — its competitors, primarily […]