Ridesharing giant Uber has today outlined its plans to expand into six additional New Zealand cities.
The San Francisco-based company says it will launch its services in Rotorua, Taupō, Napier-Hastings, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson in October, taking its number of operating cities in this country to 13.
Uber already operates in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin. It first launched in New Zealand in May 2014.
Amanda Gilmore, Uber New Zealand country manager, said the launch into the new cities would give more Kiwis access to "convenient and affordable transport".
"Uber is nearly doubling our city portfolio overnight. It's a bold but well-researched move designed to create more transport choice while deepening the earning opportunities for New Zealanders on both the North and South islands."
Gilmore said the company had "faith in NZ as a market that can succeed in the world of ridesharing".
Uber has about 6500 driver partners in New Zealand, and is live in 700 cities worldwide.
This month Uber posted its second-quarter earnings, revealing the company's net loss has ballooned to US$5.2 billion ($8.1b) from just under $900,000 a year ago.
Uber's financials have taken a hit from the costs related to its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in May. Its revenue rose 14 per cent to US$3.2b in the second quarter, missing analysts' expectations.
Uber operates its food delivery business Uber Eats in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. It first launched Uber Eats in the Auckland market in 2017, and today has more than 2000 restaurant partners.
Uber Eats has experienced significant growth in New Zealand and overseas, revenue from its food delivery business is yet to exceed that of its rides business.
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In June Uber launched its fleet of e-scooters in Wellington. The company is moving to becoming an all-encompassing transport business and hopes to integrate other transport methods into its flagship ridesharing app.
This month it announced a partnership with SkyBus, to offer airport travellers discounts on rides to and from SkyBus pick-up locations.