folder Filed in Domain upgrades, Rebrands Upgrades to
By Tatiana Bonneau access_time 2 min read

Founded in 2010, Uber was initially called UberCab.

The name Uber comes from the German word meaning “above all the rest,” a quality founders Kalanick and Camp assigned to their brand.

In 2010, the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority & the Public Utilities Commission of California ordered Uber to cease and desist. On the same day, Uber officially changed its name from UberCab to Uber. The company’s founders also reasoned that Uber really wasn’t a taxicab company in the traditional sense, so there was no reason to attach the term “cab” to its name. Maintaining brand consistency and reinforcing Uber’s new identity meant investing in the exact brand match domain name The startup secured it from Universal Music Group in exchange for a 2% stake in the company. 

The one who follows the crowd, never gets ahead of the crowd.

Travis Kalanick, Co-founder and former CEO of Uber was previously linked to a failed social network project backed by Universal Music, which remained the owner of the domain. 

The value of the domain name was already considerable even before it adopted its current brand. The term “Uber”, notable for its strong branding qualities like literal meaning, distinctiveness, and memorability, further increased its market worth when combined with the universally acknowledged .com extension.

In 2019, Uber priced its initial public offering at $45 a share, giving it a valuation of $75.5 billion. Universal Music Group did not partake in this success, since at some point before this valuation, the company sold back its shares to Uber for $1 million. Does “Oops” cover it?

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