DETROIT — Inspired by the entrepreneurial revival in a city built on transportation, San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., one of the hottest tech companies in the country, today announced the launch of its on-demand luxury car service in Detroit’s fast-growing tech hub.
Uber.com provides affordable luxury transportation through an efficient technology-centered approach. Using a smartphone app and real-time GPS technology, clients are able to request a car that arrives within minutes, with no need to waste time paying cash or waiting for a credit card to be processed, as the fare is automatically paid for through the account on file with the app. The payment fee even covers the tip, eliminating all need for cash.
“This is an opportune time to open shop in Detroit,” said Uber Launch Specialist Chan Park. “We are very excited about playing a role in Detroit’s transformation by bringing our innovative technology that revolutionizes the way people get around, with convenience and in style.”
Uber was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009, was rated Fast Company’s “2013 Most Innovative Company in Mobile,” and has rapidly expanded to more than 29 cities internationally today.
“Our technology allows customers to move around the city easily and empowers our local partner transportation companies to expand their customer base,” said Park, adding that Uber offers variable pricing based on distance as well as traffic conditions for luxury sedans and SUVs.
“You don’t have to worry about any unknowns when you call for a car,” Park said. “With Uber you know when and how you are going to get picked up because you can watch your driver coming toward you on the map interface. There is even a rating system that allows you to see the quality of the driver.”
Detroit Ventures Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies, helped recruit Uber to downtown Detroit and brokered the company’s lease in Rock Ventures’ Madison Building. The decision to expand their business to downtown Detroit was made just hours after Uber executives saw the opportunity emerging in the nation’s fastest- growing urban core.
“It is exciting that an innovative technology platform like Uber is coming downtown to join a growing, young and energetic environment – and that they made the decision so quickly and without hesitation,” said Detroit Ventures Partners’ Managing Partner Josh Linkner. “The Madison will provide them with an open, collaborative space where they will be able to continue to create a thriving, growing tech business.”