NASDAQ-listed cab-hailing giant Uber has announced the launch of its incubator programme for entrepreneurs— within Uber and outside as well.
At its San Francisco-event on Thursday (September 26), Uber said that since good ideas can come from anywhere, it wants to open its global platform of 100 Mn active consumers and more than 4 Mn drivers and delivery partners to entrepreneurs both inside and outside Uber.
Uber Incubator: What’s Happening?
The company said Uber Incubator is a new opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups to use the platform to take their ideas to the next level. For this, the company is launching a new six-month Entrepreneur in Residence programme, which is open to both Uber employees and external applicants.
Here entrepreneurs can work hand-in-hand with Uber’ Incubator team to turn their ideas into businesses on Uber’s platform.
In a blog post, Uber wrote, “Our process follows lean startup methodologies. We provide support and resources to teams with a compelling opportunity, so they can rapidly pressure test the business model and iterate their ideas towards product-market fit.”
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The company said that once the business is proven sustainable, it will receive funding consistent with disciplined business-building best practices to scale to the next stage and merge into the overall Uber platform.
Uber also emphasised that it is actively engaging with early-stage startups that are taking smart risks and want to leverage the strengths of its platform to scale their businesses. The company is looking for startups which can help Uber in improving customer experience across mobility, logistics and more.
Uber said that the idea for Transit came out of the Uber Incubator and there’s already another project underway called New Mobility Robotics. That includes sensing and robotics for light electric vehicles, like bikes and scooters, on Uber’s platform.
What Else Is Uber Doing?
Uber started globally with on-demand rides in 2009 but has grown to offer access to everything from food delivery to electric bikes and scooters. It has even integrated public transit into the Uber app—as well as a few helicopters, but not in India yet.
In India, Uber offers rides and Eats, its food delivery service. The company has made an app update and with that, it is now going to receive a unique four-digit PIN to verbally provide to the driver.
The driver will only be able to start customer’s trip in the app once the correct PIN has been entered. This is similar to what Ola has integrated into its business model for the last few years.
Uber said it is also developing a new technology that uses ultrasound waves to automatically verify you’re in the right car, no PIN needed. Uber, in India, has recently launched a 24×7 safety helpline to keep its customers safe.
The 24X7 safety helpline has been paired with the in-app SOS button already available in the safety toolkit. It will allow riders to connect to law enforcement authorities in case of an emergency.
It also launched a new feature for its India customers with passenger insurance at no extra cost over and above the ride fare. Uber India has partnered with insurance companies Bharti AXA and TATA AIG.