Uber is testing a new 'on-demand labor' service, sort of like a temp agency

  • Uber is testing an "on-demand labor" service that would expand the ride-hailing giant beyond the transportation realm for the first time.
  • The new program, called Uber Works, is testing in Chicago and would offer on-demand staffing for events and corporate functions.
  • It's aimed at people who aren't currently drivers with Uber, and could bolster the company's business proposition ahead of a high-priced public offering.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber 
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber 

Uber is testing an "on-demand labor" service that sounds sort of like a temp agency and would expand the ride-hailing giant beyond the transportation realm for the first time, a person familiar with the pilot program told CNBC.

The Financial Times first reported the test of the new program, which is called Uber Works.

The company is shoring up its finances and expanding its reach ahead of an IPO next year. Uber made its name as a ride-based logistics platform, but expanded in recent years to offer food delivery and integrate other forms of transportation.

Uber Works is testing in Chicago and would offer on-demand staffing for events and corporate functions, according to the person, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the pilot.

It's kind of like Task Rabbit, a mobile platform that connects customers in need of a service with appropriately qualified helpers, but for businesses and larger-scale needs.

It's aimed at people who aren't currently drivers with Uber, and could bolster the company's business proposition ahead of a high-priced public offering. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week Uber has received proposals from would-be underwriters that would value the company at $120 billion.