It was only a matter of time.
Uber, the car service that became the app of choice for millennials in big cities around the globe, is now getting into the delivery business with its latest service UberRUSH. "With UberRUSH, your packages travel like a VIP," the site's announcement reads. "You get fast messenger pickups and immediate deliveries of the things you need to send."
Currently only available in Manhattan below 110th Street, UberRUSH acts as a courier service, connecting Uber users to professional (and eventually lay) messengers who will deliver their goods to recipients located in five designated zones in the borough. RUSH deliveries in the same zone have a $15 flat rate, with an extra $5 for every zone crossed. (And, so far, Uber's controversial surge pricing isn't a feature in RUSH.)
Uber has dipped its tires in delivering goods in the past, with holiday promotions that seemed to be tailor made for its users (adoptable kittens for 15-minute cuddle sessions, roses on Valentine's Day). Far from a marketing ploy, these were testing grounds for Uber's ability to send things as well as people, says New York's blog. According to Uber, RUSH is a natural extension of its car service and the company's desire to disrupt stagnant service industries like black car services. ”No one was getting it quite right on the messenger service piece, and we were seeing people use Uber cars to move things,” Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York, told Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Uber app is becoming a handheld way for people to get goods and services. With Mohrer confirming there are plans to expand within New York and other cities "if all goes well," Businessweek predicts UberRUSH's next iteration will "connect merchants to their customers." But just because Uber is making a full-time play in the courier arena, doesn't mean it will stop its one-off, viral deliveries. On Wednesday, a day after RUSH debuted, the company announced its latest ride gimmick: Uber Pitch, a free ride where Silicon Valley entrepreneurs could pitch their business ideas to a Google Ventures investor during a seven-minute car ride.
"Whether you spend your weekends hacking together a product or are still plotting out your perfect pitch deck—UberPITCH is your chance to get in front of some of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished investors," Uber wrote on its blog.
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Photos: Getty Images, UberRUSH