Uber Technologies is launching a dedicated advertising arm in a push to cash in on a captive audience and tap the higher-margin revenue stream.

The new division encompasses ad offerings on Uber’s ride-hailing and food-delivery apps.

On Uber Eats, for example, brands will be able to pay for sponsored listings, prominent placing on the homepage or checkout, and featured menu items.

Uber also rolled out Journey Ads, a new service that runs advertisements for ride-share users while they wait for their driver and during their trip. More than 40 brands have partnered with Uber to run Journey Ads, including NBCUniversal and Heineken, Uber said in a statement on Wednesday.

The move expands Uber’s prior efforts to monetise an audience of 122 million monthly active users. In 2020, Uber starting placing ad displays atop drivers’ cars and last year began testing ads in its ride-hailing app.

Uber’s ad chief, Mark Grether, said at the company’s investor day in February that the goal is to grow the advertising business into “a US$1-billion-plus revenue opportunity by 2024”.

Uber’s new division will have competition from peers like Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart, all of which who are also vying for a growing pool of advertising dollars from brands eager to reach customers online.

In July, Lyft, which acquired a company in 2019 that builds monitors to run on top of cars, launched an advertising business of its own. Last year, DoorDash started selling sponsored listings.  — Bloomberg