Uber has announced that it is expanding into Germany, where “Secret Ubers” are now operating in Berlin. The on-demand car service company’s first passenger in that German capital was another startup founder, Alexander Ljung of Soundcloud. The company said that its Berlin cars are still in testing phase, and that “more Ubers are getting on the road every day.”
This is just the latest move in Uber’s efforts to live up to its name. Last month, Uber nailed down the approval of Washington, D.C.’s city council after months of facing regulatory hurdles in the U.S. capital. It also launched UberTAXI, its e-hail taxi service, last week.
But the company still has to deal with some upcoming hurdles. At the end of this month, it’s headed to court in Toronto, as city officials dispute the legality of its service, and it will face increased competition as other ride-sharing services like Lyft, SideCar, TaxiMagic and FlyWheel look to expand to other cities or ramp up their marketing efforts.
Here’s the rest of the press release:
Ahh Berlin… the city with Michelin-starred restaurants hidden in garbage alleys, world-class galleries tucked away out of sight, and one of the world’s greatest party scenes living it up in deceivingly isolated basements until well after sunrise. Take these dichotomies and you’ll start to notice them regularly among the many talented hyphenates defining modern-day Berlin: meet a consultant-baker-DJ today, a producer-writer-software developer tomorrow.
No wonder then, that in typical underground fashion, Secret Ubers have slipped into this exciting melting pot of art, fashion, music, and some of the coolest tech startups we’ve ever seen. And just in time for Fashion Week, not to mention the other 132,786,453 events going on that make Berlin THE place to be for everyone interested in pretty much anything.
Case in point: we spotted Alexander Ljung, Co-founder of the rockstar startup Soundcloud, catching a ride from their Brunnenstraße office (or “Moonbase,” in Soundcloud-speak) to their Gormannstraße office (aka “Rebase”) for a pizza and drinks event. Easy as (a pizza) pie — Uber driver Imran arrived at Moonbase in his long Mercedes S-Class to bring Alex and his buddies to lunch in style, comfort, and fun.
We’re still in testing phase, so if you don’t catch a Secret Uber at first, try again soon and maybe you’ll be lucky. More Ubers are getting on the road every day to help on-the-go Berliners (is there any other kind?) make it to all of the meetings, events, and parties on their calendars. Backseat’s so comfy, you could finish up your emails, catch up with friends, or even get a little shuteye before making your entrance.
Uber on! Team @Uber_Berlin