Uber just turned five, and it’s grown from four employees to more than 3,000, said Ryan Graves, head of Uber’s global operations.
The company trotted out some of its earliest employees for a scripted look back at its first five years as a company.
Before the event started, slides showed some of the companies milestones, including the first cease and desist letter Graves received in 2010, Uber delivering 400 piñatas in Mexico City, and the first baby born in an Uber.
“It’s been 5 years, and we went from four people around the desk to something that is around the world,” CEO Travis Kalanick said during the company’s celebration event at Uber’s headquarters.
The crowd included Kalanick’s mother, who was tearing up as he took the stage, and some of the companies earliest investors. San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner also earned a shoutout during the comments for attending the party.
Kalanick also acknowledged his somewhat controversial image as a CEO.
“I realise that I can come off as a somewhat fierce advocate for Uber,” Kalanick said. “I also realise that some have used a different ‘a’ word to describe me.”
Here’s how it’s grown:
- The company reached 3,000 employees around the globe, which doesn’t include its driver partners. Its 1 millionth driver just gave his or her first ride. (Note that this counts every person who’s ever worked as an Uber driver, not the current number of available drivers.)
- Uber is now in 58 countries and 311 cities.
- Growth in China has been huge. There are 46,000 drivers in Chengdu alone. In comparison, Uber has 26,000 drivers in New York City, 22,000 in San Francisco, 15,000 in London, and 10,000 in Paris — its first international city.
- The company now has more than 1 million square feet of office space globally. (That’s not including its just-announced Mission Bay campus).
- In San Francisco, almost half of all rides in the city are Uber Pool, its carpooling option, Kalanick said.
- All Uber trips in the last five years have covered a total distance of 1.5 billion miles (2.4 billion kilometers).