Uber is launching an on-demand courier service in New York on Tuesday. The company has named its courier service UberRUSH. It will allow users to request item pickup and delivery through a smartphone app. Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York, described the service as “better, faster, cheaper.” The company allows customers to purchase items ahead of time, and schedule pickup and delivery through its app.
Uber to give couriers a free iPhone 4S
VentureBeat first discovered a job listing by Uber. According to the listing, the company will pay bike couriers $20-$30 per hour for on-demand deliveries. Later, Uber confirmed the reports in an official statement. The company said it will give couriers an iPhone 4S so that they can receive pickup requests from near-by customers. Users can request delivery of small packages, usually in less than an hour, for a fee of $15-$30, depending on the distance.
In its job listing, Uber said that applicants need to be at least 21 years old, and they will have to travel by bike or an unlimited Metro card. The service will be available 24×7, but it only allows pickup and delivery of items. Couriers won’t make any purchases. Besides ordering delivery, both the sender and the recipient will be able to track the progress. The company plans to expand its courier service to other cities in the future.
Uber valued at $3.5 billion
Uber has long wanted to expand its service beyond rides. Its chief executive Travis Kalanick recently said that he looks at the company as an urban logistics service provider. Its ambitious goals are a big reason investors have poured in about $400 million into the company, giving it a market value of $3.5 billion. Uber’s services are spread over smartphones, mapping and local services, making it one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley.
Uber’s entry into the courier service comes at a time when New York is saturated with delivery services. It will compete with Postmates, WunWun and eBay Now.