Uber is reportedly testing an on-demand staffing business called Uber Works which would allow businesses to hire workers for short-term jobs.
According to the Financial Times, Uber Works provides a temporary workforce for events and corporate functions, such as waiters or security guards. The company is testing out the service in Chicago after piloting it in Los Angeles earlier this year.
A spokesman for Uber did not respond to comment, but job ads were found that describe a “special projects” team based in Chicago with “ambitious goals and objectives.” Candidates should have a “strong interest in the on-demand labor space” and be prepared to be “on call when the product is busiest (often nights, weekends, and holidays)."
Rachel Holt, a longtime Uber executive who currently heads its “new modalities” division, is in charge of Uber Works.
The project comes as the rideshare company is looking to go public next year. Recent Wall Street proposals value Uber at up to $120 billion in an IPO, widely expected to take place in early 2019. That report noted such a figure is twice as high as Uber’s “valuation in a fundraising round two months ago,” and more than the combined value of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Such optimism comes as Uber, under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, polishes a brand and company reputation that was tarnished by workplace sexual harassment claims and accusations of stolen trade secrets from Google’s parent company.
Its rival, Lyft, is also hoping for its own IPO in 2019, possibly before Uber. It has reportedly given JPMorgan Chase the job of leading the ridesharing provider’s IPO. “JPMorgan will not be a part of Uber’s IPO after selecting to lead Lyft’s offering,” an unnamed source told CNBC. The outlet also quoted a source who said that Lyft’s value “could” be more than $15 billion.