Online cab aggregator Uber has opened its first engineering center in Asia in Bangalore. The Center will hire software engineers to focus on developing India specific solutions for riders and drivers.
Note that in July last year, Uber had committed to invest $1 billion in India in the next six to nine months. At the time, the company said that it would use the money primarily for improving its operators, expanding to other cities, developing new products and payment solutions and to set up a better support network.
In December Uber had said it was looking to set up an engineering centre in Bangalore to offer solutions for the Indian market. The next month, Abhishek Nag, Facebook India’s growth manager had quit the company to join online cab aggregator Uber as head of partnerships in India.
MoU with Haryana Govt: Yesterday, Uber said that it had signed an MoU with the Haryana Government to introduce its ridesharing services (including private vehicle ridesharing) and help the government with “smart city” development in the state.
P2P sharing and ridesharing in Bangalore and Delhi: In January, Uber expanded UberCOMMUTE, a solution for private car users to offer carpooling options to Bangalore from 7AM to 9PM. This was a follow up to its service in Delhi, which was launched In December 2015. UberCOMMUTE is not to be confused with UberPOOL, Uber’s ride sharing product which was launched in September last year. Uber claims that its drivers make 10-15% more from UberPOOL, as compared to drivers on the Uber platform.
Uber’s wallet for India: Meanwhile, Uber has been working on a closed mobile wallet service in India, stating that the RBI’s two factor authentication for card payments was cumbersome. Competitor company Ola too had a closed wallet but ran afoul of the RBI’s guidelines and tied up with ZipCash for its wallet services which also allowed Ola Money users to pay for other services such as OYO Rooms, Saavn, Lenskart, Zo Rooms and TinyOwl.