Ride-hailing company Uber, on Wednesday (August 26), launched an on-demand auto-rental service in India, which would allow customers to book an auto for several hours, and make multiple stops during the journey.
The service is available in Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, the company said in a statement.
Prices for the new service would start at INR 169/hour for a 10 km package. Customers would have the option of selecting packages for multiple hours, running up to a maximum of eight hours.
The company statement mentioned that the service was India-centric.
Last month, it was reported that Uber was working to expand its last-mile business to customer (B2C) and customer to customer (C2C) logistics service, to offset the fall in revenue from the traditional ride-hailing service amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company introduced a C2C delivery service called ‘Uber Connect’ earlier this year to allow residents to send and receive items from each other within city limits. Just like Dunzo, it also allows customers to order items from nearby retail stores. Besides, it also partnered with companies like Nature’s Basket, Big Basket, Spencers, Flipkart, Medlife for the last mile-deliveries of items. As of last month, Uber claimed that it had completed more than 1 lakh home deliveries in 11 cities as part of the last-mile delivery service.
Despite the many efforts made by Uber to offset the financial disruption caused by the pandemic, the lockdown-induced fall in revenue was too much to bear. The San Francisco-headquartered company’s global cost-cutting drive reached India in May when it announced layoffs for 600 employees in the country across departments such as customer and driver support, business development, legal, finance, policy, and marketing verticals. The India layoffs were part of the global downsizing exercise in the wake of the pandemic, which has impacted more than 3,700 Uber employees.
Earlier this month, the company permanently shut its Mumbai office, with no plans as yet of moving to a new location.