Private car ordering service Uber is hooking up with AT&T, with the operator acting as a key US wireless services provider for drivers and pre-loading the app on Android phones it sells from this summer.
Startup Uber describes the tie-up as "a first-of-its-kind alliance" in a blog. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will be one of Uber's "key providers of new wireless service to drivers" on the platform, which is available in more than 60 US cities. Uber has expanded service to 100 cities worldwide following its massive $258 million funding round in August 2013. (See Baby, You Can Fund My Car: Uber Drives August VC.)
And it's looking for further backing: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said during a Recode Conference session Wednesday that the startup is looking to raise more money.
Uber is facing revitalized competition from rival startup Lyft, which closed a $250 million investment round in April. (See Lyft Drives Mobile VC Funding to $1.4B in April.)
For AT&T, the Uber engagement is yet another sign of its desire to be at the heart of the growing connected car ecosystem. The operator is currently working with GM, Audi, Tesla, Volvo, BMW, Nissan and others on connected car platforms, services and applications. (See AT&T Makes GM Cars a Data Plan Add-On and Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading