Passengers loved Uber’s convenience and embraced it in cities such as San Francisco, New York and London. Uber now operates in more than 600 cities across 63 countries, providing more than 15 million trips a day.
Venture capitalists and other investors, seizing on Uber’s rapid growth, shoveled billions of dollars into the company to help it dominate. The company’s investors include the venture capital firm Benchmark, First Round Capital, TPG, SoftBank, Toyota and Fidelity Investments. Many of them are set to reap big returns from an I.P.O.
“Uber’s stock is widely distributed, and it will transform the lives of many thousands of families who have worked hard for this outcome,” said Matt Ocko, a venture capitalist who invested in Uber when it was a young company. Many Uber employees will go on to start other companies, he said. “This ‘virtuous cycle’ is still a big part of what makes the Valley great,” he added.
Over time, Uber branched out into different areas, like food and retail delivery, e-bike and scooter rentals, trucking and freight management and autonomous vehicles — even trying to build flying automobiles. Some of these efforts have run into difficulties, including earlier this year when an Uber driverless car killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz.
Uber underwent a rocky 2017 when its workplace culture faced scrutiny for sexual harassment and for putting growth above all other considerations. Mr. Kalanick was ousted in June 2017 after shareholders staged a revolt against him.
Mr. Khosrowshahi was appointed Uber’s chief executive a few months later. He has vowed to improve the company’s culture and mend broken relationships with regulators, lawmakers and others.
Uber’s backers are eager to put last year’s troubles behind them. “I know Dara has the full trust of investors and employees, and we are confident he knows what he’s doing,” said Chris Sacca, an early investor in the company.
“We’re not done by any means, but if you look at where we were one year ago, we were dealing with fundamental issues of governance, of board alignment, of these continuing battles amongst power-brokers on our board and whether or not we were going to have SoftBank with us or against us,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said in an interview with The New York Times earlier this year. “Those were very important issues to deal with and to resolve, and I think we resolved them quite effectively in a positive way.”