When we founded Urban.Us, we were influenced by the rate at which startups might scale growth. We’ve watched companies like ZocDoc and Zipcar reach 100 cities in a little more than 5 years. So whenever we look at new opportunities, we ask ourselves if there is a distribution model that might allow a startup to have a large impact in 100 cities within 5 years.

The growth timeline shown above, is from Semil Shah’s post on Uber’s aggressive expansion. And it shows that Uber is well on track to impact mobility in 100 cities within 5 years of their San Francisco launch. Uber has now raised over $1b, so the only thing that might slow them down are an ever-present threat from local regulators in cities ranging from Berlin to Miami.

Certainly money helps, but it’s worth taking a closer look at what Uber has done to enable their rapid and dominant city-by-city expansion. The folks at growthhackers.com have done a nice job enumerating everything from free rides to drive word of mouth to targeted usage opportunities around events or holidays. More on growthhackers.com.

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