Today at Disrupt NY 2013, Benchmark partner Bill Gurley shared an interesting fact about Uber. “Uber is growing faster than eBay did,” Gurley said. In 1997, Benchmark invested $6.7 million in eBay. It was worth more than $5 billion less than two years later. Benchmark is also an investor in Uber.
“Uber is probably the fastest growing company that we’ve ever had,” Gurley said. He insisted a lot on the quality of the product. If a company builds a good product, it will grow organically.
Benchmark took part in Uber’s Series A and Series B rounds of respectively $11 million and $37 million. Gurley seemed very satisfied with this investment and only had good things to say about the car company.
“The product is so good, there is no one spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing,” Gurley said. eBay and Uber are both consumer companies that have reached a lot of customers in a very short time.
It contrasts a lot with his comments about the past failures of the tech industry. “On the consumer side, the risk is what there was in the late 1990s, with too much money spent on marketing,” Gurley said.
A few days ago, New York finally decided that e-hail services would be able to operate in the city. Last year Uber launched UberTAXI in New York, its e-hailing service on top of regular taxis. But the company had to kill its service because of legislation issues. Uber will now be able to enter the market again, with competition from Hailo, TaxiMagic and others.
On Twitter, Uber investor Sherwin Pishevar added:
And check out the video of Gurley on stage below: