Looking to Be Everywhere, Uber Opens Its API to Big-Name Companies

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Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
2 min read

Uber wants to take you everywhere, all the time. And it wants to be available everywhere, too.

The San Francisco-based ride-sharing application announced today that it is releasing a feature allowing third-party companies to insert the Uber ride-hailing service into their own mobile application.

As part of the announcement of the API, programming jargon for the ability to embed a feature into another application, Uber announced a heavy-hitting list of 11 companies it is partnering with “to extend the Uber experience.” Expensify, Hinge, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Momento, OpenTable, Starbucks, Tempo, Time Out, TripAdvisor, TripCase, and United Airlines will now be able to integrate the Uber service into their platforms.

Related: Uber Hires Former Obama Campaign Manager to Battle the 'Big Taxi Cartel'

So, imagine booking a reservation for a restaurant with Open Table and then within the very same application, you would see an estimate of how long it would take to get to that restaurant from where you are with an Uber ride. Other alternate uses of the API would allow third-party applications to show their users how much it would cost to get from point A to point B in a Uber ride.

Companies that partner with Uber by installing the Uber interface into their application can earn credits and points for bringing new users to the ridesharing service.

Related: Lyft COO Exits, Says Controversial NYC Launch Isn't the Reason

This is a savvy move for Uber. While the company is already operating in more than 150 cities and about 50 countries, it definitely isn't reaching all available customers. By integrating with other apps, it can allow an untapped customer base to easily try the service. This isn't the first time Uber has melded with other applications. In May, the company teamed up with Google Maps to allow users to request a driver while in the application.  

Related: Lyft and Uber Trade Barbs Over Cancelled Rides

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