Uber invests R$200m in tech support center in Brazil

The new São Paulo-based facility will employ thousands of staff to cover technical requirements from customers and drivers.

Transportation services company Uber has announced a multimillion-dollar investment in the launch of a new facility that will provide technical support to its customers and drivers in Brazil.

A R$200m ($63m) boost to the Brazilian business will drive the expansion of the center, which has started operations on January 17. The facility will employ 2,000 people in the short-term, of which 700 staff will be hired directly by the company with the remainder supplied by outsourcing partners.

It is expected that some 7,000 people will be working at the new tech support center by the end of 2017.

"Our goal is to improve technical support for users as well as for driver partners all over Brazil. 24-hour support, which analyzes [requests] on a case by case basis, will continue to be carried out through the app," the company said in a statement.

Uber currently has approximately 9 million users registered across Brazil.

99 cranks up a gear

The news of Uber's investment in Brazil follows the recent announcement that one of its main local competitors, São Paulo-based firm 99, received a multimillion-dollar funding round led by Chinese equivalent Didi Chuxing.

The investment round for the Brazilian company also included private equity firm Riverwood Capital, as well as funds Tiger Global, Monashees Capital and Qualcomm Ventures.

In order to become a ridesharing leader in the country, 99 plans on investing heavily in technology: Didi will share its "data-driven algorithmic capabilities" and the Brazilian firm also intends to double its own IT development workforce to 500 people by the middle of 2017.