Serial entrepreneur Travis Kalanick has launched several companies, but his latest venture, Uber, a smartphone-based car service, has truly captured the imagination of the tech world. Uber allows users to order so-called “black-cars” — high-end sedans, limousines and SUVs — from their smartphone. The mobile application, which is available on Apple’s iPhone and Google Android devices, displays the wait-time and shows the car’s progress on a GPS-enabled map.
For nearly a year, Uber has been battling with entrenched transportation interests in major cities, including New York City, to allow the service to include yellow cabs. Last month, a New York judge gave Uber the green light to proceed, but an appeals court issued an injunction blocking the service. So far, Uber has raised $49.5 million in venture capital funding, according to CrunchBase.