The Daily Truffle spent lunch yesterday with the new Uber team in Los Angeles at Comme Ca (*and took our first Uber cab too) where Uber GM & VP of Operations Ryan Graves informed us that people talk about transportation more than they do the weather.
That is the entire marketing strategy behind their company — now active in SF, NY, DC and several other cities.
#TruffleNotes: Uber is backed by Goldman Sachs, not too shabby right?
Uber is based around an iPhone app (not to be confused with Uber Social’s app) that lets you see the amount of drivers in your area — you simply plot your address and a driver arrives within minutes.
The rates are $8.00 + $3.50 a mile … From the Four Seasons (where we were at a meeting) to Comme Ca is $17.00 … so you can guestimate other trips from that (Soho House to Chateau, Beverly Hills to Century City, etc.).
#TruffleNotes: Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, is actually a 3rd generation Los Angeles native, having grown up in the valley.
Uber partners with off-duty limo and car services to utilize drivers. The first car that came was a town car from a limo company based in downtown. The second one that picked us up from Comme Ca was a 700 series BMW from Le Chauffeur (the car service that notoriously employs 20 – 30 year old, good-looking actors).
Next stop for Uber … Austin, TX where they are transforming their fleet into petty cabs for the the tight streets and traffic that will take over the town during SXSW (South by SouthWest). The app still works the same for those of you leaving for the music/film fest right now — just remember the cartoon cars are men on bikes this week.
Other interesting promotions Uber has done? In DC they created a day called Uber-cade where one in 20 rides was picked up in a towncar flanked by security detail and Escalades.
From Uber’s twitter feed: “Uber’s coming to LA! Secret Cars in Hollywood and Santa Monica are for the taking…You fancy huh? Stay tuned for our official launch (SOON!) http://www.uber.com“