The world’s leading on-demand car service, Uber, announced this Tuesday that it is to set up its first Centre of Excellence outside the US in Limerick. The centre will create 150 jobs in the city by the end of the year, and around 300 when it is fully up and running. The company is also investing €4m in the city this year as it aims to make Limerick one of its growing networks of customer service hubs.

Uber aims to start opera-tions in the city by the end of August, and has signed a 10-year lease on a Thomas Street site which will become the company’s first Centre of Excellence outside of the United States.

Uber is already advertising for an initial 50 jobs as it looks to start operations in the city by the end of August. The Thomas Street centre will become home to 300 local employees when fully operational. The centre will become a major hub of Uber’s support organisation within EMEA, driving innovation and service excellence for the community of riders and partner drivers in the region.

Uber is a technology platform that connects riders and drivers in real time, offering a low-cost, convenient and safe ride – all at the touch of a button. Uber has proved incredibly popular with riders and drivers alike and as such, has rapidly expanded throughout the world and is currently in 329 cities in 59 countries. This Centre of Excellence will cater for the needs of their commu-nity in countries and cities outside the US. Kieran Harte, General Manager for Uber Ireland, said: “What better place to launch our first Centre of Excellence outside the US than in Ireland. We are so thrilled to be here and setting up our operations in this city which has a tradition of welcoming innovative technology companies. Not only are we investing in the city, we’re also proud to be bringing employment at all levels to the region.”

Cllr. Ger Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, said, “In recent years the Council, along with the likes of IDA Ireland, our third level institutes and the Irish Technology Leadership Group, have invested considerable time and effort in establishing Limerick and the surroun-ding Shannon region as a natural gateway for US access to Europe in terms of infrastructure and inno-vation. As a Silicon Valley-based company, Uber’s decision to locate here is evidence that these efforts are paying off.”