Uber is reportedly developing a short-term staffing business to offer 1099 independent contractors for events and corporate functions, the Financial Times first reported. Dubbed Uber Works, the service would provide waiters, security guards and other temporary staffers to business partners, a source close to Uber told TechCrunch.
Uber has been working on the project for several months in Chicago, after first trialing the project in Los Angeles. Uber already has a vast network of drivers — all of whom have become familiarized with the process of filing taxes as an independent contractor — who may be looking for additional work. However, Uber’s current pilot program does not include active Uber drivers.
Uber Works falls under the purview of Rachel Holt, who stepped into the role of head of new modalities in June. Holt, who has been with Uber since 2011, is tasked with ramping up and onboarding new mobility services like bikes, scooters, car rentals and public transit integration.
In a job posting for a general manager to lead special projects in Chicago, Uber says, “our business is based around providing a flexible, on-demand supply for our business partners – it’s imperative that we have intuitive and responsive account management to support for our business partners in addressing their needs promptly.”
Uber declined to comment for this story. But as the company gears up for its initial public offering next year, Uber is clearly trying to diversify its business. In the last year, Uber double-downed on multi-modal transportation with the acquisition and deployment of JUMP bike-share. And in the last month, Uber deployed electric scooters in Santa Monica, Calif.
Whether this effort launches remains to be seen, but it’s certainly something Uber is exploring and positioning as a business-to-business service. In a similar vein, Uber is also working to create a pipeline to hire some of its driver partners.