Uber's Cars Might Be Sleek, But You Can Tell It's A Startup By Its Office

maya uberWSJ’s Maya Baratz arrives at Uber NYC’s launch party in the car service.

Photo: Uber Blog

Uber considers itself a luxury brand. The dispatch car service sends black cars to anyone who needs a ride quickly and is willing to pay a few extra dollars for convenience.There’s no calling in advance and no cash is exchanged. Every ride, including tip, is charged on a credit card Uber keeps on file. 

The service has taken off. Uber raised $11 million in February, it will be raising another round soon, and it is launching in more than a dozen cities next year. Celebrities, including the Glee cast and Sir Mixx-A-Lot use Uber too.

We swung by the startup’s San Francisco headquarters last month. To be fair, Uber warned us there wouldn’t be much to photograph. It had just received new furniture and the office was in disarray.

Uber was right, but it was refreshing to see the high-profile startup in a modest space. And cofounder Travis Kalanick is always fun to kick back with. So we invaded.

Naturally, we took an Uber to Uber's office.

We arrived at the headquarters on 800 Market Street in San Francisco.

We walked down a long white hallway and took the elevator to the 7th floor.

Uber's office was through that door. That was the first of many red chairs we saw on our tour.

Wires dangled and boxes were strewn all around. The office was a work in progress -- very fitting for a startup.

There was one board room, filled with more red chairs.

There was also a kitchen. Peggie Lee loaded the dishes.

A mini basketball hoop hung on a top secret white board.

That's executive assistant Phatchany Phanyanouvong. She was our tour guide.

Athena Maikish is Uber's Director of Quality and Analytics. She had one of the few offices with a door.

Uber engineers Dominic Narducci and Conrad Whelan were hard at work.

Product managers Curtis Chambers and Mina Radhakrishnan overlooked all of the Uber cars on the road. They saw exactly when my car arrived at Uber's office.

Software engineers Henry Lin and Amos Barreto were working too. All Uber employees get to take free Uber cars whenever they like.

Cofounder Travis Kalanick posed by his weather algorithm. Uber needs to keep track of rain and dispatch cars accordingly.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Tagged In

features sai-us uber