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Things Looking Up for Uber Even During Exceptionally Rough Couple of Weeks

This past couple of weeks, it looked like trouble was coming down in heaps and torrents:


A survey of global travel buyers conducted in February by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, about 20 percent of respondents said they allowed their business travelers use services like Uber, and about 20 percent said they were considering it, the NY Times reported.

That is probably the news that matters for the belligerent little multi-billion dollar app that could, because otherwise, at least this past couple of weeks, it looked like trouble was coming down in heaps and torrents:

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Uber CFO Brent Callinicos has stepped down to spend more time with his family, announced Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Word was losing this top-level man at this juncture could be a hurdle in Uber’s path to an IPO.

French authorities are suspicious of Uber’s Paris UberPop service—allowing individuals to register their car on Uber and transport passengers, taxi licenses be damned—and so police raided Uber’s office for evidence, en route to a criminal case against the company.

Germany banned Uber’s UberPop everywhere, because of those pesky licenses. Uber plans to appeal.

UN Women, an international organization supporting gender equality, said it won’t be partnering with Uber on a project of creating 1 million jobs for women by 2020, which Uber this month.

Uber drivers in Brussels and Amsterdam were attacked in more than 20 separate incidents by rival taxi drivers, who pelted them with eggs, blocked their path and even dragged their passengers out of their cars.

India banned Uber in December after a driver raped a female passenger. Uber then filed for a radio-taxi license and resumed operations, but this week they were told to stop, pending approval. Now they’re waiting.
So what does this all mean for the company?

But those are probably just stumbling blocks, which may be annoying as hell to the company’s leadership, but not a sign of where Uber is really headed. The fact is, Uber is answering a real need for busy urban passengers: the need to stop having to stand out in the snow and the rain, begging drive-by taxis to take them to Brooklyn. And every major metropolitan area has its Brooklyn, and its nasty traditional taxi drivers who used to be the kings of rush hour.

Well, the king may not know it yet, but it’s probably starting to suspect.



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