Its success rivals even that of Facebook, but Uber remains a fairly mysterious company in a lot of ways. See if you knew these crazy facts about the app-turned-transportation-giant:

1. Uber was founded in San Francisco in 2009 by University of California dropout Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, also the founder of StumbleUpon.

2. Uber celebrated its fifth anniversary on June 1, 2015, with an announcement that it had grown into a transportation network spanning 311 cities in 58 countries.

3. Uber also raised close to a billion dollars in a funding round closed in July, bringing its total funding to about $5 billion. At that time, the company was valued at almost $51 billion, tying Facebook's record for a private, venture-backed startup.

4. 87 percent of Uber drivers said a major reason they drive on the Uber platform is to be their own boss and set their own schedule.

5. Nearly 8 percent of Uber drivers are veterans or from military households. In February 2015, Uber announced that the more than 10,000 members of the military community signed on to the platform had earned over $18 million and driven 11,469,940 miles since September 2014.

6. Uber classifies its drivers in four ways: Pros, Crossovers, New Enthusiasts, and Part-Timers. The Pros are their partners for the Uber BLACK luxury car service. The Pros have the highest proportion of drivers who have been on the Uber platform for more than six months. Crossovers are uberX drivers who previously drove taxis or black cars, but have only been active on the Uber platform for less than six months. New Enthusiasts are new to the platform, and have taken up driving with uberX consistently. Part-Timers are the largest group on the uberX platform, and the most likely to be seeking a flexible earning opportunity--75 percent of this group hold other jobs besides Uber.

7. 14 percent of Uber drivers are women and 71 percent of drivers have dependents at home.

8. Hundreds of thousands of new Uber drivers sign up on the platform every month. In August 2015, Uber announced its millionth driver had just completed his first trip.

9. Uber often experiments with new concepts, but not all make the cut. UberMOTO in Paris, for example, allowed riders to order a motorcycle ride, but the program was discontinued in 2013.

10. One of Uber's crazier offerings was UberKITTENS, which gave people in seven U.S. cities the option of buying cuddle time with real kittens in 15-minute increments, with proceeds going to animal shelters.

11. In September 2015, Uber gave $5.5 million to support a new robotics faculty chair as well as three fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University. This followed their announcement earlier this year of a strategic partnership with the educational institution that included the creation of the "Uber Advanced Technologies Center" in Pittsburgh. The center is designed to focus on "the development of key long-term technologies that advance Uber's mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere."

12. Uber has been criticized for forgoing phone support, offering only email support for its users. "We have a dedicated support team available around the clock to our millions of riders in more than 300 cities around the world," Uber said in a statement to Consumerist in June. "We have successfully and efficiently managed millions of customer support issues over the last five years, and we are always exploring new ways to provide the best and most efficient support possible." Still, it doesn't seem they have any plans to give customers the option of reaching a call center.

13. Have you heard of Los Ubers? It's a group of Uber employees from around the world "committed to spreading the vibrancy of Latino culture across Uber while driving an impact to the business, organizational culture, and diversity of the company."

14. Uber also has its own print and online magazine specifically for its drivers. The inaugural issue of Momentum Magazine was released in March.

15. Over 50,000 companies enrolled in Uber for Business in its first year of operation. The top four cities for Uber business travel are London, Mexico City, Paris, and Toronto.

16. Uber was the first company to be authorized by the California Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) as providing a reliable and accurate way to recommend fares using GPS data.

17. Uber isn't allowed to operate in Spain, but that hasn't stopped them from offering UberEATS, a food delivery service in Barcelona. In the United States, its food delivery arm is called UberFRESH. And in New York, you can use UberRUSH for parcel delivery.

18. Uber has pledged to have 1,000,000 women drivers by 2020.

19. In order to make the cut, Uber cars must be less than 10 years old and be four-door models. Once a person applies as a driver, a Pro-level driver in the area is asked to inspect the car and go for a test drive with the applicant. The Pros are compensated for their time spent vetting other drivers.

20. Uber will hire only three executives in each city in which is does business, and they must handle all operations in that city.

21. Part of their lean business model is that even Uber drivers pay full price when they request rides for themselves--no discounts!

22. Uber has also pledged to take 1,000,000 cars off the road in New York City with their UberPOOL carpool program. Already, hundreds of thousands have given the program a try, and it has resulted in at least one marriage!

23. In April this year, Uber brought cybersecurity heavyweight Joe Sullivan onboard as its first chief security officer. In a statement at the time, Uber said, "It's easy to see the Uber logo on your phone and think of us as just an app. But in many ways we've become a critical part of the infrastructure of cities. We are both in cyberspace and on city streets all at once; a bridge between bits and atoms. And as we get into tens of millions of rides a week, we continue to challenge ourselves to do even better when it comes to safety and data security."

Published on: Sep 17, 2015