Ride-hailing service Uber is working to lure in more corporate customers.
The San Francisco-based service, which connects drivers with passengers via a smartphone app, announced Monday that it is expanding its Uber for Business feature to include what it calls "Business Profiles." These new profiles will now allow for quick on-the-fly profile switching for travelers who use Uber accounts for both business and pleasure.
In the past, people would have to manually log-out and log-in to access different accounts. With this update, users can now create unique profiles on the same account.
"We realized that business trips on Uber weren't seamless yet," said Max Crowley, Uber for Business lead. "People had to remember to switch between their personal and business accounts and had to to deal with receipts individually."
This latest move by Uber, which is currently valued at more than $50 billion, is a sign of the times. A less-than-stellar performance in China and a growing ride-hailing market, especially in developed countries, has slowed that the company's once lightning pace of growth. This has led to speculation about how Uber can continue to innovate. It appears that one of those methods includes targeting different kinds of customers, like businesses.
Uber for Business is aimed at people who use the service for business travel and is currently in 56 countries and more than 300 cities worldwide. Uber said Monday that while the US is its biggest market for business customers, worldwide adoption of Uber for Business is growing at an increasing rate.
The logic for Business Profiles, according to Uber, is to give employers and business travelers a more convenient way to track and organize their corporate travel spending. Uber for Business creates a traceable receipt, complete with a map showing the route and pickup and drop off times. This feature is also aimed at letting employers more easily track employee movements.
Uber said Business Profiles will be available in limited beta for select users this week and will roll out to everyone in coming weeks.
Update, September 15 at 2:40 p.m. PT: to clarify the release date of Business Profiles.