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Uber gives sneak peek into growth

Uber gives sneak peek into growth

Ride-hailing company Uber announced plans Tuesday to create 1 million jobs for women as drivers in the next five years — offering a rare peek into its growth plans. In the U.S., where Uber got its start six years ago, the company boasts 160,000 active drivers. Fourteen percent of them are women. Globally, the number of drivers is less clear, but Uber boasts “hundreds of thousands” of driver partners around the world, Uber spokeswoman Kristin Carvell said.635615188848524659-b02-uber2-0105

Even if one conservatively assumes that Uber has as many as 900,000 drivers in the 55 countries where it operates, and that 50% of those drivers could be women in 2020 — Tuesday’s announcement suggests that Uber expects to at least double its growth over the next five years. This sneak peek into Uber’s growth projections may help explain why investors have been throwing money at the company, which links drivers to riders through its app. The most recent investment round in December valued the San Francisco startup at more than $40 billion, or more than cereal maker General Mills, which has a market capitalization of $32 billion.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Uber said it has partnered with UN Women, a United Nations organization aimed at gender equality, to achieve its goal of 1 million women drivers by 2020. The company’s first step will be to sit down with UN Women to discuss a plan of action for attracting women drivers in some of the countries where it has a presence, Uber’s general counsel Salle Yoo said.

Uber also took heat after BuzzFeed reported on comments by Uber executive Emil Michael in response to another reporter writing that she was deleting her Uber app in response to the “hot chicks” campaign. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick apologized for Michael’s comments, saying they were not serious and “do not represent the company.” Kalanick has also taken heat for calling the company “Boober” to describe the impact the success of the company has had on his love life.

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