Now that the Republican National Convention is over, Uber Tampa will cease to work. That’s not how CEO Travis Kalanick planned it; he hoped this week would launch a permanent berth here for the booming sedan-on-demand app, which has seen revenues rocket 16-fold in the past year and now has a presence in 18 cities, including four in Europe, with six more coming soon. Yet Kalanick told Steve in this video interview that local regulations like those in Tampa, Miami, Cambridge, Mass., and Las Vegas that protect the taxi industry are stymieing the San Francisco start-up’s growth. In Tampa’s case, there’s a $50 minimum ride for town cars; that worked fine this week when DC bigwigs on expense accounts could afford it, but in normal times there’s no market.
So Kalanick, a political neophyte, took some time this week to chat up local officials attending the RNC in states he wants to expand to, bending their ear about how regulation is causing him headaches. Even at those prices, by the way, Uber Tampa out-grossed Uber Boston over the past five days, he said. Kalanick has a different problem for Charlotte, where the app also will work – if you can find a car. There’s a big shortage of drivers there, he said.
Via Jess Kamen of Morning Tech.