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Whenever anyone talks about disruption in the business sense it’s only a matter of time before Uber comes up. This start-up has taken the world by storm and thrown the previously well-established taxi industry into complete disarray in the last couple of years.

The story of Uber is known by many. In 2008, two friends were discussing the problem of hailing a taxi at a conference in Paris and the idea grew from there. They launched in the US in 2010 and now they are valued at $17 billion and active in 77 countries.

Uber addresses a number of common customer complaints about taxis all over the world, namely the high cost, lack of availability at certain times and poor customer service. With Uber’s app based service, users can see how many cars there are in the surrounding area, book one, and pay and rate the driver from their phone.

Uber managed to identify an opportunity where customers were being inadequately serviced, and used technology to provide a better, more affordable alternative. The convenience of using an app appeals to tech savvy Gen Y consumers, and the transparency of driver and passenger ratings provides reassurance and builds trust.