FRANKFURT: US ride-hailing company Uber is launching a freight platform in Germany, taking on local technology startups in a race to grab a share of Europe’s $500 billion trucking market.
Germany will be Uber Freight’s second market to go live on the continent after the Netherlands, an executive told Reuters, with further expansion in prospect once operations are running smoothly in Europe’s largest economy.
In the United States, Uber Freight already connects 48 states and generates more than $125 million in quarterly revenues.
Under maverick founder Travis Kalanick, Uber’s earlier bid to establish its ride-hailing services in Germany met intractable opposition from taxi companies, politicians and the courts.
This time, led by Kalanick’s successor Dara Khosrowshawi, Uber has consulted German officials and industry to win support for its freight business, said Daniel Buczkowski, Uber Freight’s head of European expansion.
“After the change in leadership, we really engaged in doing the right thing,” Buczkowski, who is German, told Reuters.
Uber will compete with local players, including Berlin-based startup sennder, which has raised $70 million from private equity house Lakestar and other investors at a $300 million valuation, and which already has a wider presence in Europe.