Post #9: Uber for ‘X’

Uber marks it tenth anniversary this month. Since birth, it has come a long way. The business is present in 65 countries and over 600 cities worldwide…

Post #9: Uber for ‘X’

Uber marks it tenth anniversary this month. Since birth, it has come a long way. The business is present in 65 countries and over 600 cities worldwide, with over 15m trips completed daily. In the past decade, well over 5bn Uber trips have been completed worldwide. Press reports suggest that the business is preparing for a public listing later this year, with a valuation worth up to $120bn. 

What is more notable than the success of Uber is the number of lookalikes that it has spawned. Across Silicon Valley, the mantra ‘Uber for X’ can be heard with alarming regularity. When it comes to filling in the ‘X’, take your pick: there is the obvious – laundry, grocery, dog walking – and also the more obscure – consider cannabis delivery or tractor hire. 

The power of mobile broadband, cheap data storage and clever algorithms means that disparate people who need a service and those who can provide it are now seamlessly matched via a trusted intermediary. In the US alone, over $7.4bn of venture capital has been committed to at least 100 Uber wannabees in the last decade (per Crunchbase). 

Market forces, digitalisation and consumer preferences are likely to continue to drive the sharing economy forward. While an early-mover and corresponding scale advantage may matter, by definition, businesses operating within this sphere are inherently disruptive. Of the 100 or so Uber-for-X businesses that have emerged since 2009, around a quarter have gone bankrupt and some 18% have been acquired, implying that more than 50% of these start-ups remain alive and kicking. How many go on to achieve so-called unicorn status (i.e. worth more than $1bn), of course, remains open to debate. Even if the potential IPO of Uber (and perhaps also Lyft and Airbnb) may mark a peak in the equity market, it seems clear that the sharing economy remains here to stay. 

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights22 July 2021

Season 3, Post 29: Quiz time

Your one and only question is the following: what do electric vehicles and plant-based burgers have in common? The answer: they’re both getting better the whole time. As improvements to these products occur, so adoption levels should increase. This intriguing analogy was made to us by the Chief Executive of Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech, […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights15 July 2021

Season 3, Post 28: The magic of mushrooms

Mycelium-tech could be the next big thing. You might think you are familiar with the humble mushroom. Fried, they work well as a breakfast option, for example. Alternatively, they could perhaps be chopped into a pasta dish or salad. However, when you buy mushrooms in your local store or – even better – see them […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights06 July 2021

Season 3, Post 27: Take a trip on the hyperloop

Imagine being able to get from central London to Edinburgh in less than an hour, or from downtown New York to San Francisco in fewer than five. Think of all that extra time you would save. Travelling the former route by train currently takes close on four hours, while, a coast-to-coast US trip might require […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right

GET THE UPDATES

Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.