Image Credit: Screen shot
While it’s been fighting its PR and regulation fires, Uber has apparently had time to invest in mobile technology.
The alternative transportation company recently announced and rolled out an integration with music-streaming service Spotify to let passengers play DJ during their rides, and the company is hiring the team that orchestrated that integration. Uber announced the move in a blog post Wednesday evening.
The team in question has been advising Uber since 2009 and is part of an Amsterdam collective of developers and designers named Moop.me. The team of 10 will become Uber employees and will set up a mobile development-focused office in Amsterdam, led by Uber’s first engineer Conrad Whelan. The new office will also server as the company’s international headquarters.
To be clear, Uber is not acquiring or hiring all of Moop.me, only those particular developers.
Although it’s starting with that small team, Uber plans to build up the office to “30 people within a year and more in the years ahead,” Whelan said in the blog post. It’s hoping to double the team every six months, Moop.me founder Jelle Prins told the Dutch tech blog iCulture. Prins is also joining Uber to lead the design team in the new group.
The new office will be in Amsterdam because the team apparently didn’t want to move, though future hires might come from anywhere to join the Dutch team.
Ironically, Amsterdam is one of the cities where Uber has been having regulatory difficulties. In fact, four Uber drivers were recently arrested there for misuse of the Uber app.