The Angel VC

The Angel VC

Uber’s uber large funding round has been the chat of the day in the technology community in the last week. 17B valuation. Actually, according to the Bloomberg story, Uber’s new valuation pieces a record for ventures into privately-held technology startups. AFTER I found out about Uber a couple of years ago first, I didn’t quite get it initially.

The traditional taxi system works quite nicely in Germany, and I thought that the advantage of using an application to order a cab as opposed to making an instant call wasn’t such a large deal. Also, the expensive “private limo” service, which Uber began with in the beginning, didn’t appeal to me.

After using mytaxi in Germany, I began to like the theory, but it was the release of UberX and my recent two-months stay static in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA which changed me into a huge Uber fan. The facts that make Uber so persuasive? Speed: In San Francisco, Uber has such a big number of drivers that no matter where you are in the city, it takes more than 5-10 minutes until your car will come rarely. Transparency: You get an ETA and you may watch your vehicle on the map as it’s getting nearer to you, which means you know exactly whenever your car will get there pretty. Price: The business’s budget option, UberX, is cheaper than normal taxis.

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Convenience: The fact that you merely have to get into your credit card once makes the payment process extremely convenient and will save you a lot of time each time you reach your destination. Related to that, Uber has built its business model so that the drivers aren’t permitted to take tips, so you need not think about how exactly much tip to give. That leads to another almost magical experience – you arrive at your destination and off you decide to go. No waiting for your credit cards to be processed or for the drivers to look for change.

You don’t have to worry about getting a receipt neither, since a receipt is emailed for you after the ride. The driver halts and 5 seconds later you’re out of the car. Last but not least, practically all of the motorists I drove with were very courteous and friendly. So Uber is great for riders and based on what I know, it’s good for the drivers, too.

But could it be also a great business? I think so. If an ongoing company provides so much value to both sides of a marketplace, it can take a substantial trim and find retailers and customers profitably. I also believe although driver and rider loyalty is probably not huge in principle (as this WSJ piece suggests), User can create significant moat around its business through network effects and the building of its brand.

I have no idea enough about the business to judge that, but what’s clear is that User has an extremely realistic chance to revolutionize the worldwide taxi industry. What’s more, Uber’s long-term eyesight is a lot bigger. As Travis Kalanick places it, they would like to make “car ownership something of the past”, and my guess is they’ll make an effort to disrupt a few other industries (such as last-mile delivery) along the way. Huge congrats to Bill Gurley and his companions at Benchmark for gambling on Uber early!

Take Kareem Mayer, who weblogs about his experience with a welcome series for his product SocialWOD. It’s obvious that as his emails build he uses the power of the series combined with informative subject lines to build momentum. GetResponse take that one further and include the ‘position’ the recipient is at in the series. This is really useful as it clearly identifies the email and, assuming the customer has had an optimistic experience with previous emails in the series, increases the charged power of the topic line, increasing starts. Using series promotions and flagging this in the topic line is a reasonable way to boost your email conversions.

Most businesses send fewer emails than they could for fear of annoying customers. Spend some time ensuring your emails are helpful and you also won’t have this nagging problem, allowing you to send emails in series that basically converts. You will read that shorter subject matter lines increase starts commonly. This is just one single example of a quote thrown around as fact but, the truth is, you can make certain this will hold true for your own audience never.