When Disruption Gets Too Disruptive

With massive strikes in France and now drivers shooting passengers, Uber is making headlines everywhere. While some might say any publicity is good publicity (and any disruption is good disruption), for the firm valued at $50 billion (with a stunning operating loss of $470 million and revenues of only $415 million) perhaps there is a limit to both press and disruption...

 

As Bloomberg reported yesterday from a recent prospectus:

  • *UBER BOND PROSPECTUS SHOWS $470M OPERATING LOSS
  • *UBER BOND PROSPECTUS SHOWS $415M IN REVENUE

And that's what makes Uber worth $50 billion to the Shubik Dollar Auction private equity holders.

And, as Bloomberg details, Uber has a multitude of problems...

Uber also routinely upsets regulators, which are challenging or banning the company from California to India. Last week, French President François Hollande said Uber's service is illegal and called for it to be dismantled. The latest bump in the road involves drivers in China scamming Uber via fake fares. Uber faces challenges practically everywhere, and we’ve mapped out some of the highlights below.

 

 

Perhaps - given this global furore - Uber's disruption is too disruptive.

And now this...

A Florida Uber driver has been reportedly suspended pending a police investigation after he broke the company’s anti-gun policy and shot a passenger who was allegedly choking him during an argument.

 

Clearwater police are investigating after the passenger in an Uber vehicle was allegedly shot Sunday night during an altercation with the driver, 74-year-old Steven Rayow. Passenger Marc Memel, 60, was shot in the foot and treated and released from a local hospital, a local NBC affiliate reported.

 

“There was a gentleman sitting in his car and there was like blood dripping out of the car so I was concerned what was going on,” Justin Smith, who works at Union Burger on Mandalay Avenue, told the station. “I came back inside to get a couple of rags to just to make sure he wasn’t bleeding out or anything, but it wasn’t nothing like vital.”

 

Police spokesman Rob Shaw said: “The driver basically told us that the passenger started choking him. He had his hands around his neck, and in fear of losing consciousness, that’s when the driver of the car pulled out a gun, and in the ensuing struggle, that gun went off.”

 

Police said Mr. Rayow is a retired New York City Police officer and has a concealed weapons permit.

 

A new Uber policy prohibits riders or drivers from possessing a gun. An Uber spokesman said Mr. Rayow’s access to the Uber platform has been removed, NBC reported.

 

Sunday’s incident is a glaring example of why Uber needs to be regulated, with drivers getting a level 2 background check, Public Transportation Commission Executive Director Kyle Cockream told NBC.

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Problems aside, Uber was raising a $1.5 billion funding round as recently as May that would value the closely held technology company at $50 billion.

The six-year-old company has recently begun to put more cash toward hiring lobbyists.