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Uber moving across Asia, starts testing in South Korea

Seoul is Uber's second stop in Asia after launching in Singapore in January

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 25, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/303f

Since launching in Singapore in January, Uber's plan roll out its service across Asia has not been a secret. Now the company has made its official second stop in the region.

Uber has begun to test out its service in the Gangnam district (yes, that Gangnam!) of Seoul, South Korea, it was announced in a blog post Monday.

"Earlier today, secret Ubers appeared on the streets of Gangnam, and some of them quickly made their way north across the river," Uber wrote. "As a technology company that aims to connect stylish riders to professional chauffeurs everywhere in the world, we are excited to announce Seoul, known for its trendy fashion and socialites who love to party, as our second Asian city."

Uber is, of course, an on-demand transportation app, one which allows users to connect with a luxury car service directly from their smartphones. The company decided to reveal the Seoul tests in style: by having its first celebrity in the region try out the service. That was soccer star, and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Koo Ja-Cheol.

The tests in Seoul are expected to last a few more weeks, during which Uber says that will be spending the time "figuring out the best and most stylish ways to get Seoul-ites around town," as well as adding new cars to the fleet. 

Uber has already released the rates for Seoul, which will include a base fare of ₩6,000, with an extra ₩1,700 for every kilometer over 18 km per hour, and ₩700 for each one under 18 km per hour. The minimum fare is ₩12,000, and Uber will be charging a ₩10,000 cancellation fee.

Uber will also be charging a flat rate of ₩150,000 between Incheon Airport and Seoul.

Right now, it seems that the only option available to riders in Seoul is UberBLACK, which is Uber's default option of a high-end sedan or SUV that seats up to four people. There is currently no indication as to whether or not users will be given access to some of Uber's other services, such as UberX, a lower cost fleet made of mostly hybrids, as well as some smaller sedans, or UberTAXI, which allows users to choose a local taxi.

Uber is also trying to get the word out in its new city by offering users in the area ₩20,000 off their first ride if they put in the promo code "SeoulFirst."

Founded in March 2009, the San Francisco-based Uber has operations in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, the Hamptons, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Toronto and Washington D.C.

Uber raised a $32 million Series B in December, led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs and Benchmark Capital, bringing its total raised to around $45 million.

(Image source: http://blog.uber.com)

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