Uber Technologies is creating a standalone business out of its long-haul trucking services, Uber Freight, with plans to double investment in the unit, Reuters reports.
The freight business, which connects truckers with shippers, will be led by Lior Ron, a former employee who left the ride-services firm in March, the report said, citing a company announcement.
During Ron’s absence, the company negotiated a deal allowing for his return that also gave Uber Freight more flexibility to make acquisitions or strategic investments.
Ron co-founded a self-driving trucking company, called Otto, which Uber acquired in 2016 and later became the centerpiece of a high-stakes lawsuit over trade-secrets theft.
Uber settled that lawsuit, brought by Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo, in February for US$245 million.
As part of Uber’s reorganization, the co-founders and employees of Otto will receive an equity stake in Uber Freight, according to the report
Uber said it will double its investment over the next year in Freight, a brokerage service set up in May 2017 for truck drivers and fleet managers looking for cargo to haul across the continental US.
It declined to provide a specific figure, but said Uber Freight’s growth is promising. The business is doubling the number of loads it connects with truckers every quarter, the company claimed.
The Freight unit is a key area of investment leading up to Uber’s initial public offering planned for next year.
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