Uber told MediaNama that it does not have any “immediate” plans to launch ride-hailing services for buses and mini-vans, as this Mint report indicates. The report (incorrectly) states that these services would be launched under Uber Everything, a division of Uber which tests initiatives outside the company’s core ride-hailing business (more here).
Unlike what the report says about Uber’s diversification in India after the sale of its China unit to Didi Chuxing, Uber has actually been focusing on streamlining its ride hailing business in India by shutting down auto (currently live in 4 cities: Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack and Indore), intercity (between Pune and Mumbai), bike taxi (in Bangalore, live in Haryana) and BLACK experiments but probably continuing the more social ones like Assist, the private carpooling service Commute and the business facing unit Uber for Business.
In July, Uber claimed to have completed 2 billion rides globally in 6 years since its inception across Uber’s services like Go, X, POOL etc. In June, Uber said that in Delhi and Bangalore, UberPOOL accounted for 25% of all its trips and that it was doing 50,000 trips weekly in both these cities.
In March, Uber opened its first engineering center in Asia in Bangalore and would hire software engineers to focus on developing India specific solutions for riders and drivers. Last month, the company said that it aims to have a million drivers in India by 2018. In the same month, it appointed Shweta Rajpal Kohli as its public policy and Government affairs head for India.
Uber’s wallet for India: 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.
Uber funding: In June, Uber raised $3.5 billion from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. An Uber spokesperson told MediaNama that the investment was part of the global fund and would be utilised in strategic markets like India. In August last year, Uber had raised around $1 billion from Microsoft and Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL).