Lest you ever be in doubt about Uber’s fuck-you attitude to any company that isn’t itself, check out what the “innovation at all costs!” car-booking service is now doing with a chunk of its recent $258 million windfall.
Because Lyft, a ride-sharing service that has raised a total of more than $75 million, has just moved into St Paul and Indianapolis, Uber has decided to do the same with UberX, the lower-cost version of its premium booking service.
But Uber isn’t interested in making this a fair fight. It’s using the bully position granted by its vaults of cash to give itself a little leg up over Lyft: It is offering people in those cities free UberX rides for the rest of September.
Uber’s challenge to Lyft: “How much market share can your money buy?”
Business competition is often aggressive, but Uber founder Travis Kalanick and company are giving new meaning to the word. It’s not enough that Uber win black-car booking services – it wants to own all private transport on the road. We’ve also heard that it might be about to buy its own cars, too.
Kalanick has spent much time railing about “corrupt” and broken taxi companies, but as Uber grows and spends more money, it seems it has no qualms about attempting to become an entity with similarly monopolistic powers.
(Disclosure: Lyft investors Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund are also PandoDaily investors. Crunchfund and Menlo Ventures are investors in both PandoDaily and Uber. Josh Kopelman and Matt Cohler are both investors in PandoDaily, and their firms, First Round Capital and Benchmark, are investors in Uber.)