Pando

Your enemies closer? After Uber declares war on Postmates, the two companies are now sharing an office in Las Vegas

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on August 24, 2015

From The Travis Shrugged Desk

Well, this could get interesting.

Last week, Sarah Lacy wrote about the heightened rivalry between Uber and Postmates after the former launched a food delivery service, UberEATS. As Sarah reported, the launch makes good on a promise made by Travis Kalanick to Postmates founder Bastian Lehmann to “see you in the trenches.”

One such “trench” is Las Vegas, where both companies recently launched their respective services. Nevada is a particularly important battleground for Uber -- as Pando’s Dayvid Figler reported, the company has spent more money on lobbyists in the state than the entire gaming industry combined.

It was with some measure of surprise, then, that we received a tip over the weekend that both Uber and Postmates have set up their Nevada HQs, not just in the same building but in the same room -- a shared office space called Work In Progress, part of Tony Hsieh’s Las Vegas Downtown Project. Hsieh famously promised that the Downtown Project would become a model for future working cities, with collaborative workspaces designed to promote "spontanious collisions" between likeminded people and companies.

According to a second source, Postmates was the first to set up shop at Work In Progress (WIP) with Uber moving in much more recently.

Given how notoriously secretive Uber is over its operations, and how wary Postmates has to be about Uber learning its local strategy, the tip seemed hard to believe. Surely if any two companies would want to avoid "colliding" in such a contentious market, it would be those two.

But, nope, yesterday afternoon a WIP exec confirmed to Pando that both companies have made Work In Progress their home, before insisting that the whole thing is a non-story which Pando really shouldn't write about. 

He may be right, but still one is left imaging a tech version of Spy vs Spy, with each company trying to outwit the other as they compete for world domination.

See you in the trenches indeed.