Uber to Buy Autocab – A Taxi Tech Firm

Uber taxi hailing service

Uber is buying the taxi tech company to reach out more customers and expand its presence in the UK.

Autocab is based in Stockport. However, it provides private hire and taxi operators with technology to run their business. Its services also include bookings.

This deal will enable Uber to start connecting taxi drivers with customers in regions of the country where it currently lacks service. Such as Oxford, Tunbridge Wells, and Canterbury.

However, Uber mentioned that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK currently open the app each month in places where they cannot request a ride. These locations include Oxford (an average of 67,000 app opens per month), Doncaster (24,000), Swansea (18,000) and Aberdeen (17,000).

The size of the deal has not been revealed.

Uber’s Response

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said, “Autocab has worked successfully with taxi and private hire operators around the world for more than 30 years and Uber has a lot to learn from their experience.”

In addition, he said, “We look forward to working with the Autocab team to help local operators grow and provide drivers with genuine earnings opportunities.”

Autocab chief executive Safa Alkatab said, “Autocab has been working with local operators across the world to provide the technology to make them more efficient and open up a marketplace to provide more trips.”

“Working with Uber we can scale up our ambitions, providing hundreds of thousands of additional trips for our customers, and help cement the place of licensed operators in their local community.”

Uber said Autocab will “remain independent” following the acquisition and will maintain its own board.

Previous Acquisitions

Previously Uber acquired an Atlanta based company, Routematch which develops software for public transportation agencies. The news comes amid the ride-hail company’s broader push into public transit. 

Routematch was founded in 2000. It sells software to public transit agencies for data management, dispatching, trip booking, and ticketing. 

Uber said the acquisition will help bolster its own efforts to integrate more public transportation services in its apps, like route planning and ticket purchases. 

However, Uber plans to sell its ride-hailing software to business transit agencies. Uber has also found the first customer to buy this software – California’s Marin County transportation agency. But it was only for four wheelchair-accessible vans. 

Uber also plans to buy the food delivery startup Postmates. It is buying the company in an all-stock deal worth $2.65 billion.

However, Uber is acquiring Postmates to cope up with the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. And make its business in a better financial position.

Uber’s food delivery service is blooming since March. When its core taxi business was at a halt due to lockdown and its demand was dropping globally. The company was mainly earning from its delivery service, Uber Eats during the pandemic.

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