Here’s why Uber’s acquisition of UK-based Autocab could be the right move to expand its reach

The mobility sector is slowly bouncing back post coronavirus. While e-scooters are expected to be the rage for short-distance trips, cabs would most likely be the preferred way to get around for longer travels. Uber has also now announced its acquisition of the UK-based technology company Autocab. While the announcement comes as a surprise, there’s a good reason as to why the cab-hailing platform chose to do so, which Uber has outlined in its blog post. 

Uber expands reach and operations for local operators

While Uber is promptly available in most places in the UK, booking a ride via the app in towns such as Oxford, Doncaster and Aberdeen was not possible till now. The company says it has registered 67,000 app boot ups in Oxford, 25,700 in Exeter and 23,700 in Doncaster. With the acquisition, Uber users can use the app in mentioned towns to get a cab from now on. However, in such places, instead of Uber cars, the app will enable users to book a minicab from a local outfit. 

“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 licenced operators in their local community,” says Safa Alkateb, CEO of Autocab.

Bringing in more opportunities 

Uber drivers are also expected to get more opportunities with the move, which could enable them to pick jobs, such as delivery, outside the Uber platform. While Uber has not released details of the acquisition, the company says Autocab will still remain independent and the company’s board will focus on providing technology to the taxi and private hire industry around the world.

As per Crunchbase, Autocab uses a global marketplace (iGo), which enables local firms to plug in and get more trips. The company is said to operate in 20 countries globally currently and its acquisition should help Uber get more business in places where it is yet to launch. An Uber spokeswoman told TechCrunch that the company plans to support Autocab’s expansion of SaaS and iGo internationally. This might mean that Uber might soon integrate Autocab’s service in other places outside the UK as well.

Cover image: Shutterstock

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Equity Monday: Intel covets Moovit, two early stage rounds, and Uber’s earnings

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a jumpstart for your week.

Equity had a busy last few days, so to help you catch up: Friday’s episode was a lot of fun (Duolingo, Figma, OMERS, and aquafaba), and we also dropped an Equity Shot on Saturday, digging into the first major technology earnings week.

But this morning we were busy digging through what’s happened over the last few days, and what’s to come. Here’s the rundown:

We wrapped asking that’s going to come for companies that were still speculative businesses before the slowdown. They’re going to vaporize, right?

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