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Uber and Airbnb Welcome Corporate Travelers to the Sharing World

Depending on where you work, it’s not hard to add your corporate credit-card number to your Uber app
Depending on where you work, it’s not hard to add your corporate credit-card number to your Uber appPhotograph by Aaron Ontiveroz/Getty Images

For a moment, at least, two of the buzziest Internet startups are sharing the spotlight with a less-than-sexy corporate expense management company. Uber just introduced a way for users to bill cars directly to their employers through Concur, which helps about 23,000 businesses with travel and expense management. The move comes one a day after Airbnb announced a similar program for lodging found on its website.

For Uber and Airbnb, the business market is a logical outgrowth of their consumer businesses. Direct spending on business travel totaled $266 billion last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association, although the figure includes much more than payments for hotels and cars. The limousine and town car industry brings in $6 billion per year, with luxury and corporate services making up the largest slice of that pie, according to IBISWorld.