Yemeksepeti and Uberification
Once more, the sale of Yemeksepeti.com to Delivery Hero took Turkish business society by storm. Everyone is talking about how a website can be sold for $589 million. A similar wave of awe struck this country when Pozitron was sold for 100 million dollars to Monitise. For many, the only viable investment in Turkey is construction. We need more of these successes to change Turkey’s business culture. If we can change the business culture, it won’t be a foreign company buying a Turkish asset; it will be Yemeksepeti.com eying companies to buy for hundreds of millions of dollars. Yemeksepeti.com was founded in 2001; Delivery Hero was founded in 2011. It is not Nevzat Aydın’s fault that Delivery Hero bought his company and not vice versa; it is Turkey’s fault. We, as a country, could not give him enough funds, a solid background and network to spring him worldwide. The same goes for Uber, from which the term “Uberification” comes from.
According to Wikipedia, Uber is an American international company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the mobile-app-based transportation network also called Uber. The Uber app allows consumers to submit a trip request, which is then routed to crowd-sourced taxi drivers. As of March 26, 2015, the service was available in 55 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 and released the following June [in 2010]. It raised $49 million in venture funds by 2011. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates. It continuously gathered additional funding, reaching $2.8 billion in total funding by 2015. Many governments and taxi companies have protested Uber, alleging that its use of unlicensed, crowd-sourced drivers is unsafe and illegal. It is estimated that Uber will generate 10 billion dollars in revenue by the end of 2015.
Uber is in Turkey now too. Their vision is to be available worldwide in every city. So far, their story is going as smoothly as possible, with Lokman Kuriş responsible for its international expansion. Kuriş said that every Uber driver has a license to carry passengers and that Uber has a rigorous system to select drivers, thus minimizing every possible risk.
On a very interesting note, since Uber’s launch, several other companies have emulated its business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification.”
So our authorities should think about why there is a term like Uberification and not yemeksepetification.
I believe that companies like Uber have a lot of know-how for Turkish tech startups. I hope that we as a country can model ourselves after nations who are able to produce such companies almost yearly.