Dear business travelers, commuters, managers,
As the new Global Head of Uber For Business, I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and my vision for our team and product.
Throughout my career I’ve focused on building products that change some fundamental ways we live and work—starting by making the online world accessible at AOL (was a founding member of AOL Instant Messenger team) and most recently at Jawbone, where we brought together beauty and engineering for better health. I’m excited to continue that trend at Uber.
Uber’s mission is to bring reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere. With Uber For Business, that means building technology that powers a wide range of transportation needs for business’ employees, customers, and goods: everything from business travel to daily commutes; from rides to company events and food delivery; and from caregiver and patient transportation to freight. We’re in the early stages of finding solutions to all of these business needs—and we’re going to do it more efficiently and ultimately save people money.
First, some backstory on Uber for Business. It started organically: business travelers were some of Uber’s earliest customers because we made their lives easier. They could use one app in more than 70 countries, getting a reliable and affordable ride at the tap of a button.
We took notice, and gave employees and employers better ways to manage travel with tools like Uber for Business Profiles—letting employees toggle between their personal and business accounts and charging rides directly to employers or expensing their business rides with just a few clicks.
Uber for Business not only reduced friction in employee travel, it also proved to be really cost-effective for businesses. Ground transportation, which traditionally includes taxi, black cars, rental cars, gas, and parking, has always been a big corporate expense ($250 billion last year). But that money isn’t always spent efficiently. Companies can save up to 30% on ground transportation expenses using Uber compared to taxis, which explains why ridesharing now accounts for more than half of all ground transportation costs. And with Uber for Business they gain additional insights and control over their corporate ground travel spending.
More than 50,000 companies are using Uber for Business and millions of people have Business profiles, and we expect those numbers to at least double by the middle of next year.
All of this has led me to my first few months on the job, where my team has been talking about what’s next for Uber for Business. The main question we’ve been asking is: “How do we leverage Uber’s ability to bring people and technology together to create more ways to continue saving businesses time and money?”
Soon, we’ll transform Uber for Business into a full-fledged platform for businesses of all sizes—not only simplifying business travel, but changing the work experience from the moment you step into the office in the morning to when you head home at night.
Take commuting, for example. On average, 10% of working normal hours in the U.S. are spent commuting. In some cities, that could mean hours every week spent behind the wheel, instead of finishing up work and getting home on time. And with rising real estate costs, companies are finding they are not only losing employee time, but also spending an increasing amount on parking. It’s no surprise that companies are starting to ask how they help their employees get to and from work more productively and more enjoyably.
With Uber for Business, people can spend less time focusing on the road (or distracted on the road), and more time getting things done while commuting. We saw interest in this initially, with late-night rides, where employers paid for a ride for anyone leaving the office after 8pm. It’s now expanding, with some companies have started testing the ability for employees to request rides to and from the office and directly bill them back to the business. Similarly, nurses who do in-home care are getting more time for patients by spending less time looking for parking.
Initial feedback on employee travel has been so positive that we’re beginning to help large organizations build business plans and programs that easily scale this offering. These types of engagements highlight Uber for Businesses’ core value to our clients. We aim to act as advisors, helping businesses build and execute strategies that enable them to embrace and benefit from the ever-blurring line of the digital and physical world.
Uber’s value proposition also extends beyond just reliable rides. With UberEATS, companies can cut down on traditional catering services for events and meals, which can be expensive. And with on-demand delivery service UberRUSH, companies of any size can get just about anything delivered to customers in just a few hours. At Uber for Business, we’re already having conversations with companies about integrating all these products into scalable business-friendly solutions. It’s an exciting time.
It’s still early days for Uber for Business, but we’ve already seen that we can play a big role in transforming how businesses operate. As a technology company that provides more than 50 million rides on six continents every week, we’re in a unique position to help companies get more efficient and improving people’s working lives.
Wherever your business is going, it’s my goal that Uber for Business will help get you there faster than you can imagine.
Looking forward to the ride,
Global Head of Uber Enterprise