Uber has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Indian government-backed program that aims to make mobility and commerce more accessible across the South Asian nation.

The ride-hailing giant said Thursday that it will explore an integration with Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to explore integrations with the network and expand range of its mobility offerings on the Uber app. At an event in Bengaluru, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber “views open source tech stacks with a lot of interest and recognizes the opportunities they bring for everyone.”

The ONDC is an ambitious initiative seeking to disrupt the country’s fast-growing e-commerce and mobility sectors. Launched in 2020, ONDC aims to democratise online commerce by providing an open platform that can connect buyers and sellers across markets, allowing even small retailers to reach customers more easily. Last year, ONDC expanded to the mobility sector.

Even as ONDC is making inroads, one of the major challenges the initiative has faced is the lack of participation from big names. Though firms like Amazon and Flipkart have expressed intentions to participate in the open network, their engagement remains limited.

“As the Open Network is continuously evolving, MTT (mobility, transport and travel) is certainly a critical sector for us. Different players together on the network foster innovation and newer business models,” said T Koshy, MD and CEO of ONDC, in a statement.

“Today’s MoU is a major step forward and one we hope will enable a diverse range of mobility solutions to benefit every Indian.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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