In case you didn’t know, Uber, the ride-sharing program, was co-founded by a Canadian. His name is Garrett Camp. He came up with the idea when he couldn’t get a cab in San Francisco and ended up being late for a date.
The first name for his new company was UberCab which launched after raising about $1.5 million in development money. But there was a problem. Using the name UberCab indicated to the city of San Francisco that it was a cab company and therefore had to work under the rules set down by the city for the entire industry.
“No problem. We’ll just shorten the name to ‘Uber.’”
Well, there was a problem. Universal Music Group already owned uber.com. A deal was struck to buy the domain from Universal in exchange for a 2% stake in the company. After a while, though, Uber bought the shares back from Universal for $1 million. Had Universal hung on to that investment, those shares would be worth more than a billion dollars today.