Uber has passed another milestone in its short history. Not only is it the most highly valued startup in the world, but its one billionth ride was taken on Christmas Eve - and it happened right here in London.
That one billionth ride was a £5 UberX from London Fields to Hoxton and comes just five and a half years after the first ever ride took place in San Francisco.
The lucky rider named Marvin will get a nice Christmas gift too - free rides for the next year. Uber will donate £10,000 to the local charity Hackney Pirates, while the driver, Ara who only started driving for Uber in August, gets a free trip to any Uber city in the world. There are 360 to choose from, demonstrating the astonishing growth of the service, and that perhaps even more astonishing valuation of more than $60bn.
Uber will soon face the results of a consultation on operating in the capital which had the potential to curb its operations. Business groups and Uber users have widely condemned proposals put forward by Transport for London that included regulation such as a five-minute waiting time.