“Uber seen reaching $10.8 billion in bookings in 2015: fundraising presentation”

"Uber Technologies Inc's [UBER.UL] global bookings are projected to rise nearly threefold to $10.84 billion this year and reach $26.12 billion the next, according to a recent presentation for potential investors seen by Reuters.

The ride-hailing service, which operates in over 50 countries, keeps 20 percent of booking revenue, showed a confidential slideshow prepared by Chinese bankers with input from Uber, aimed at soliciting investment in a fund participating in Uber's Series F financing.

Based on those figures, 2015 revenue would be roughly $2 billion, according to a Reuters calculation." —Reuters

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“Uber’s Business Isn’t Built to Help Disabled People”

"Uber’s issues with the disabled community have been widely covered. Uber drivers have been accused of refusing to pick up wheelchair-bound passengers, as well as blind passengers traveling with service animals. Stories have surfaced of Uber drivers putting guide dogs in the trunk, and both Uber and its smaller rival, Lyft, are now facing several lawsuits in states across the country.

But the protesters gathered at Uber’s headquarters say those admittedly awful stories of misbehavior by individual drivers mask a much deeper, much more complex, systemic issue that cuts to the very core of how Uber runs its business. The problem, as they see it, isn’t just that Uber drivers won’t pick them up. It’s that they can’t." —Wired

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“Twisting Words to Make ‘Sharing’ Apps Seem Selfless”

"In a forthcoming study on the technology-mediated work experiences of Uber drivers, however, two researchers argue that terms like “sharing” can put a gloss on business practices that may work against the interests of the supposed sharers — that is, the drivers themselves.

Uber and Lyft, for instance, each set the prices passengers pay. But, the study notes, the Uber app is devised to require drivers to accept a ride request before knowing a passenger’s destination and being able to determine if that fare would be financially worthwhile. The study also points out that Uber asks drivers to return passengers’ iPhones and other lost items — a service that earns good will for the company — without automatically compensating drivers for their effort. Some drivers have also noted that the companies encourage them to provide bottled water, mobile phone chargers and other services to passengers at their own expense.

These practices seem inconsistent with the idea of workers as partners who have a say in the business or autonomous, self-directed entrepreneurs, the authors write." —New York Times

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“California orders Uber to pay a $7.3 million fine”

"When the state legalized Uber and similar services back in 2013, one of its conditions is the submission of detailed reports to make sure drivers accept passengers regardless of their conditions or locations. Unfortunately, Uber turned in incomplete data for 2014 and has been refusing to show CPUC the information it requires for the past few months.

The missing figures include the number of passengers who requested vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs or animals and the number of times those requests were granted. Uber also failed to submit a list of ride requests based on ZIP codes and how many of those were fulfilled, as well as info on drivers who committed violations." —Engadget

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“Uber Drivers: You Bet They’re Employees”

"The recent ruling by the California Labor Commission that San Francisco Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick is not a contractor but an employee is seismic. For years now, Uber has successfully fended off such efforts, arguing, “Hey, we’re just an app.” We admire the innovative spirit that Uber represents and use the service ourselves often. But who are they trying to kid? Berwick wouldn’t be out there driving on her own. She’s an Uber employee.

America is filled with millions of Berwicks. Middle-class workers face many threats, including declining wages and the rising costs of education. But by far the biggest threat to middle-class workers—and to our economy as a whole—is the changing nature of employment itself." —The Daily Beast

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“Uber Tests Taking Even More From Its Drivers With 30% Commission”

"In a new pilot program in San Francisco, a small percentage of new UberX drivers will pay a 30% commission on their first 20 rides in a week, 25% on their next 20 rides, and then 20% on any rides beyond that. Uber is also testing the same commission in San Diego, except that the tiers are for the first 15 and next 15 rides in a week.

The tiered structure, which Uber began testing in April, will hit new, part-time drivers the hardest…" —Forbes

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“Men Are Using Uber’s Lost-And-Found Feature To Harass Female Drivers”

"Laurie N. had only been driving for Uber for three days when she was confronted with a female driver’s nightmare scenario: a drunk and upset male passenger showed up at her doorstep, pounding on her door. Even worse, she hadn’t given him the address. He’d gotten in touch, and then located her, using a combination of Uber’s lost-and-found system and Apple’s Find My iPhone. Yet while the passenger was able to track her down, she was unable to do the same with anyone at Uber, leaving her feeling exposed and vulnerable…" —BuzzFeed News

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