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Uber, a $4b taxi business, hits a rough patch

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It is Travis Kalanick versus the world, and recently the world seems to be winning.

Kalanick, who is brash and aggressive even by the standards of Silicon Valley, created Uber four years ago to blow up the traditional taxi business. In more than 60 cities around the world, it is doing just that.

Anyone with a smartphone can use Uber’s software to get a ride. No more standing on the corner in the rain. For that achievement, Uber is worth $4 billion.

Suddenly, however, Kalanick is a bit besieged. Uber is being sued by its drivers, who say it is stealing their tips. Competitors are pressing it from all sides. Celebrity riders like Salman Rushdie have had gripes too, usually about pricing.

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