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Benchmark's Gurley: Uber is our fastest-growing company ever

Bill Gurley, a general partner at the VC firm, says that the taxi-hailing service is rising even quicker than eBay, an earlier investment by the firm.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read
Bill Gurley, a general partner at VC firm Benchmark Capital, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference Monday in New York. Shara Tibken/CNET

NEW YORK -- Uber is growing pretty fast -- so fast that it may be Benchmark Capital's fastest-growing company ever, one of the VC firm's general partners said Monday.

Bill Gurley, speaking with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington at the blog's Disrupt conference here, said Uber, the taxi-booking service, is "probably the highest, fastest-growing company we've ever worked with," even more than eBay, an earlier Benchmark investment.

Uber is a taxi-hailing app that helps potential passengers locate a ride in real time. They simply put their location into an app, which is then sent to designated cars nearby. The first to arrive on the scene gets to pick up the customer.

Gurley noted that Uber had a business model from the beginning, unlike some other consumer companies, such as Instagram, that come up with an idea before figuring out how to make money from it. That makes a big difference on how quickly companies grow, he said.

He added that Uber has spent nothing on marketing yet is posting rapid revenue growth.

"Consumers just go there because the product is so good," Gurley said.

Companies like Uber have been working to bring taxi apps to New York over the past year but faced many setbacks early on. Uber launched support for taxi service in New York last September, but after just one month the company pulled out due to obstacles and roadblocks by groups opposed to the service. Last week, a New York judge gave Uber and other taxi-hailing apps approval to operate in the city.

Uber also has operations in other cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, London, Paris, and Berlin.