Uber launches in Paris at LeWeb '11!
Uber, a well-known taxi service in the Bay Area for its elegant and fast service, has launched in Paris! "Everyone's private driver," we wish we could have had this last year when it seemed like the sky was going to fall on Paris from the amount of snow!
Travis Kalanick, Uber's co-founder and CEO, told MG Siegler, "We've had cars on the ground since Friday, and we feel like we're rolling out a transportation system."
If you're unfamiliar with Uber, here's how it works : you want a cab, so you call Uber. Uber sends out a ping to all of the elite taxi drivers in its service. Whomever is the closest or says that they will go, chooses to pick you up, and will let you know how long until they will be there. No more waiting in the street for 2 hours, you'll know exactly how long and just where they are. When Uber gets to you, the driver will call you to let you know they have arrived. All of this is done on your Uber account, too, so you can even call an Uber cab for a friend.
"We like to say we give drivers hugs," said Travis, explaining how while they respond to a need for more taxi drivers that are on demand, they also provide more opportunities for drivers, themselves.
Travis also announced that Uber just closed a round of funding at $32 million with Menlo Ventures!
Uber is starting with 60 cars simultaneously in Paris, and the number of cars that they will have will depend on the demand.
For those of you wondering about the taxi lobbies in Paris, Uber works with private car companies, many of whom are former taxi drivers.