Uber Business Model: How Does Uber Make Money?

By Hyperlocal Cloud

June 06, 2023

Uber Business Model: How Does Uber Make Money?

Uber, a ride-sharing industry forerunner, has brought about widespread change in the traditional transportation sector and achieved a household name. The uniqueness of its business model and the accessibility of its app have contributed to the company's phenomenal growth over the years. Uber has brand recognition in 69 countries, over 900 cities, and many regions.

  • Uber earned a whopping $17.4 billion in profit in 2021. They made up to 56% more money than in the years before.
  • Uber Technologies earned $31.877B in annual revenue for 2022, reflecting an 82.62% increase from 2021.
  • During the first quarter of 2023, Uber recorded a 24% increase in trips, totalling 2.1 billion, which averages to approximately 24 million daily trips.

Many business owners find the skyrocketing profit margins of this on-demand taxi aggregator to be a major source of motivation. This has increased the number of startups and corporations interested in creating and operating their versions of the Uber app.

What is the problem, then?

The most significant barrier is the need for insider industry knowledge and experience. If you are experiencing similar difficulties, you have found the right place. Let us know useful information about Uber, Uber's business model, how it makes money and more.

Uber – Statistics

  • Uber earns an estimated worldwide net revenue of $17.5 billion.
  • This specific brand held 37.2% of the worldwide rideshare industry market share.
  • Uber has attracted 110 million people worldwide to its monthly active user base in recent years.

What is Uber?

Uber is a ride-hailing aggregator where you can book a taxi service through a smartphone app to take you from point A to point B. The parent company of Uber, Uber Technologies Inc., is an American Conglomerate that created and perfected the most comprehensive business model. They founded it in 2009 in San Francisco, California, U.S.

"Ubercab" introduced the first online ride-hailing service in 2009; since then, the "on-demand economy" has grown rapidly.

Furthermore, Uber's parent company participates in various other industries, such as food distribution, package delivery, courier services, and freight transportation. It purchased companies like Careem, Drizly, and Postmates to offer these services. Uber has partnered with Cornershop to provide a grocery delivery service in several Latin American and Canadian countries.

Need Advice For Starting Your Uber Business? We are just a call away.

Uber’s Facts, Figures, And Fundings

  • Launch Year: March 2009
  • Founders: Garrett Camp Travis Kalanick
  • Parent Company: Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Industry: Mobility as a Service
  • Funding Amount: $25.2B
  • Funding Stages: 33
  • IPO Launch: May 9, 2019
  • IPO Amount: $82.4B
  • Acquisitions: 13
  • Customer Base: 93M (2021)

Here are some Uber models with their on-demand services.

  • UberX: The basic Uber ride.
  • Uber Pool: Shared rides
  • Uber Comfort: New cars with extra legroom
  • Uber Green: Electric vehicles
  • Uber Black: Luxury cars
  • Bikes: On-demand electric bikes
  • Scooters: Electric scooters
  • UberXL: Vehicles with a carrying capacity of up to 6 people
  • Uber Transit: Real-time public transport information
  • Uber WAV: Wheelchair-accessible vehicles
  • Uber Lux: Luxury vehicles with top-rated drivers
  • Uber Black SUV: Luxury SUVs with top-rated drivers
  • Uber Taxi: Local taxi cabs partnered with Uber
  • Uber Flash: A specialized taxi system designed for Hong Kong
  • Uber Auto: On-demand auto rickshaws
  • Uber Air: Flying vehicles

Uber Business Model: A Brief Description Of Its Factors

Uber has a comprehensive business model, like any other business model. Uber's business model can greatly teach aspiring entrepreneurs looking to enter the industry. Let's examine this in greater detail.

Key Elements

Uber's business model has three pillars, which are as follows:


Becoming an Uber driver is easy; you need a valid driver's licence and a car. Uber screens drivers before accepting them into the network and provides them with Uber phones to communicate with riders.

Passengers / Riders

Users must register for the mobile app to schedule their desired on-demand services. Uber provides the driver's details and the expected fare. Passengers can also track the progress of their booked rides.

Payment And Fare

Factors such as distance travelled, time of day, and demand for the service increase the costs of taxi rides. The system provides users with an estimated fare when they book a ride. Peak rates and off-peak rates may cause prices to fluctuate. Users can use various payment methods, such as debit/credit cards, electronic wallets, etc.

How does Uber Work?

Uber is an online platform connecting drivers and customers for ride-sharing services. Uber connects nearby drivers with riders needing a ride using advanced matching algorithms.

The app uses an 'X' algorithm to match compatible riders and drivers. Uber takes a 25% cut of every ride, even though it owns no cars. Additionally, its pricing structure is flexible and adapts to market conditions as it makes bookings.

Users request rides through their respective apps; drivers are expected to accept and complete those requests. Uber's "Uber for X" business model has inspired similar services in other sectors.

How Does Uber Make Money?

Companies like Uber charge passengers for their rides to make money, similar to a taxi or other rental transportation service.

Vehicle owners and drivers work with Uber to set a base fare at which they can all make a profit. The centralized platform enables riders to make online reservations and collects revenue in exchange for the service.

The company commissions 20-25% of the client's bill. Uber earns its primary source of revenue by charging drivers commissions for rides booked through the service. The trip commission takes 20% of the total fare collected, and the driver is entitled to 80%.

Uber employs a dynamic pricing model that bases the trip's cost on the surge in demand and the number of available drivers. Once the availability of the drivers increases, the pricing algorithm normalizes the prices.

Uber's business model relies on four pillars: Mobility, Delivery, Freight, and Advanced Technology.

1) Mobility

Drivers with access to a wide range of cars, vans, and taxis connect with passengers through the service. Uber earned $6.09 billion from this market in 2020.

  • The UberGO/X/XL/WAV app enables drivers to connect with riders for affordable and personalized rides.
  • UberGO provides cheaper rides by offering more basic car options.
  • UberX service offers economy-class vehicles that can accommodate four passengers.
  • UberXL seats up to six people and provides extra space for luggage at a low cost.

People who use wheelchairs can access the car with WAV.

Uber Rental: Uber Rental can provide a car for anywhere from an hour to a full day, with the option to make as many or as few stops as desired, depending on the user's needs. The service caters to individuals who wish to travel from one place to another by renting a car for a specific duration at an affordable price.

Uber Pool: A group of people can get from one place to another most cost-effectively by sharing a ride in an Uber service car. The customer must consent to the driver picking up and dropping off additional passengers en route to their destination to use this service. Splitting the fare with other passengers reduces the price of your ride to a fraction of what other services would charge.

Uber Green: Choose Uber Green if concerned about your environmental impact. You can pay more than UberX but use hybrid or electric cars to take you anywhere.

Uber Transit: Uber Transit gives users access to multiple modes of transportation. Public transportation details, among other options, provide users with information on how to get there. Uber hopes to establish itself as a one-stop solution for transportation by furnishing the user with the best possible transportation choices.

2) Delivery Segment

Users can search for nearby eateries, order food, and select in-store pickup or delivery. Uber has broadened its service beyond transportation by introducing this option, allowing drivers to supplement their income during off-peak transportation.

The platform allows drivers who aren't mobility drivers or need access to qualified mobility vehicles to join through the delivery offer. The platform will add a new ecosystem of players leveraging its strengths and capabilities to meet customers' demands needing product movement.

3) Freight

Uber, carriers, and shippers offer freight offerings on the platform. Up-front, accurate pricing and the ability to complete a shipment with the push of a button benefit shippers.

4) Advanced Technology Group (ATG)

The company's R&D department, the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) at Uber, creates autonomous vehicles and ridesharing systems. However, Aurora acquired the rights to Uber's ambitious autonomous driving division. Joby Aviation acquired Uber's "Urban aviation ridesharing product" and renamed it Uber Elevate to help alleviate ground traffic. By 2020, ATG and other tech had yielded a hundred million dollars in investments for Uber.

Get in Touch With The On Demand App Developers to Discuss Your Business Idea.

Factors That Impact The Income Of Uber

Trip Commissions

The respective drivers receive a pre-decided share of the overall amount earned on each ride through an on-demand taxi app like Uber. On-demand cab services usually have different commissions. However, it still ranges roughly from 15-30%.

Revenue As Commissions

Uber's commission typically ranges between twenty and twenty-five per cent, determined by customer pricing. What does that price include exactly, and how do you determine it?

A ride's total price always includes the following components:

  • Base fare: The base fare includes the pickup and drop-off fee.
  • Time: The journey's total time
  • Distance: The vehicle travelled a total distance to and from the rider's location during the trip.
  • Booking Fee: A flat fee as a one-time payment to cover operational expenses such as verifying identity and rent.
  • Surge Variable: A surge is influenced by a factor. The price will rise if demand exceeds available supply.
  • Tipping: Passengers designate the amount they want to tip the driver.

Surge Pricing

Nearly all carpooling services have increased their charges. However, customers should remember that yellow taxis operate even on wet Saturday nights. Drivers who work during high-demand times can expect to earn several times as much as their peers if they are available and willing.


Ridesharing generates more money for cities than for their more rural and suburban counterparts. Recently, the ridesharing industry has been subjected to legislation by the city, which sets a minimum wage for its employees.

Cancellation Fee

Uber assesses a cancellation fee when the passenger cancels a ride at the last minute. The taxi company receives this money directly into their bank account and counts it as revenue.

Hours Worked

Estimating a driver's monthly or yearly salary is difficult due to the mobility required for this job. People may change schedules daily, weekly, or even monthly.

Premium Ride Services

Paying customers now demand upscale transportation from on-demand taxi services, which require the services to maintain a large fleet of vehicles. Using a taxi service on demand incurs a slight premium. Therefore, premium ride services increase the split between drivers and taxi companies.


Expense is another major contributor to rideshare earnings.

To get at true earnings, you need to deduct things like:

  • Gasoline
  • Parking
  • Car maintenance and repair
  • Extras such as snacks, drinks, or entertainment
  • Tolls
  • Car payments
  • Auto insurance

Drivers also have personal expenditures that employees don’t, such as:

  • Self-Employment Tax
  • Health insurance
  • Retirement contributions
  • Personal liability insurance

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Future of Uber

In 2019, the company recorded a significant increase in gross bookings to $65 billion from $50 billion in 2018. In 2019, the company generated $16.25 billion in net revenue, which accounted for approximately 25% of total bookings.

Uber has established a highly successful and innovative business model that has revolutionised the transportation industry. Uber generates revenue through various streams, primarily by taking a percentage of each fare charged to riders.

However, Uber has faced numerous challenges and controversies throughout its journey. Regulatory hurdles, driver disputes, and concerns over safety and labour practices have posed significant obstacles. These challenges highlight the need for continuous adaptation and improvement to ensure sustainable growth.

Despite these challenges, Uber has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, expanding its global presence and diversifying its offerings. The company's ability to disrupt traditional transportation systems and embrace innovative technologies has solidified its position as a leader in the industry.

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