Uber Ties Up With AT&T For Driver Service And To Pre-Load Its App On New Android Phones

Uber wants to be the app that consumers use to get around town, and it’s looking to gain a lot more distribution, thanks to a new deal that the company is announcing today. At the CODE Conference, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick revealed that the on-demand ride-hailing app would be pre-loaded on Android phones that are sold through AT&T.

Starting this summer, AT&T will become the provider of cellular service for new drivers going forward. And it will also partner to get the Uber app in the hands of more consumers.

“We’re wiring that city up and there are two sides to that,” Kalanick said. That means it will be moving a large number of its drivers to AT&T on the supply side. And Uber’s transportation app will be on up to 50 million phones in the U.S.

Since last summer’s big $258 million funding round, the company has been aggressively expanding its service, which is now available in more than 100 cities around the world. But it’s looking for more ways to expand the coverage of its network.

The tie-up comes as Uber is reportedly in the middle of raising a big new round of funding that could propel it beyond the billion-dollar unicorn club and value it as high as $17 billion.

That financing, which totals more than $500 million, would be on top of the more than $300 million that the company has raised since being founded in 2010.

Investors interested reportedly include mutual fund BlackRock and private-equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures.