Uber has agreed to buy its biggest British rival Autocab, which operates a trip booking app for independent minicab companies across the country.
He said the takeover would allow him to connect people with mini-taxi companies in cities where Uber itself does not have a driver.
The Autocab platform has access to more than 75,000 vehicles in areas where Uber is not operational.
Uber is currently available in 40 cities across the UK.
Autocab first started out as a radio supply company. He went on to develop a cloud-based booking platform called iGo that allows independent taxi companies to offer reservations online.
The platform is currently used by around half of the UK private hire and taxi market.
Following this agreement, Uber is expected to be available in around 170 cities. This includes Oxford and Doncaster, where Uber says “tens of thousands” of people try to use its app every month.
Passengers using the Uber app in a UK city where there is no Uber driver will be able to seamlessly book a private rental car instead.
“Through Autocab’s iGo marketplace, Uber will be able to match these passengers with local operators who choose to take their reservation,” the company said in a blog post.
“In return, operators should be able to expand their operations and offer more income opportunities to local drivers. “
Uber said Autocab would “remain independent” after the acquisition and maintain its own board of directors.
The companies have not disclosed the financial terms of the deal or explained how Uber will benefit from it.
Oxford-based mini-cab company Absolute Cabs has told the BBC it welcomes the announcement of the takeover.
“As a global tech-driven player, they have brought new ideas and we recognize Uber as an important player in the industry,” said press secretary Douglas Wallace.
“Private companies like ours will be able to deliver the same Uber-style experience, but with more local knowledge and investment. ”
The BBC has contacted the Competition and Markets Authority for comment.
It’s been a tough year for Uber, which revealed in April that trips booked through its app had fallen 80% due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It announced in May that it would cut more than a third of its workforce, even if that did not include drivers, because the company sees them as independent contractors.