Image credit: Uber

Brief: Uber doubles down on food & grocery offerings in profitability push

May 4, 2021

  • Uber has unveiled a raft of new in-app features aimed at enabling its users to “go anywhere, get anything,” including several significant expansions of the US ride-hailing giant’s food-related offerings.
  • ‘Pick Up and Go’ will allow users to search for nearby restaurants and stores while they’re traveling in an Uber vehicle, so they can order, collect, and pay for meals and groceries en route.
  • Uber users will also be able to pre-order meals from restaurants before they open and pay with a single checkout for multiple orders from different food merchants and grocery stories.

Why it matters:

Since becoming a publicly traded company in May 2019, Uber has gone through a strategic shift in its continuing effort to hit profitability. This has seen it harden its focus on its core businesses – ride-hailing and delivery – while shedding side acts in areas such as self-driving cars, e-scooters and e-bikes, flying taxis, and haulage, as well as exits from challenging markets such as China, Russia, and Southeast Asia.

Uber has also made acquisitions in an attempt to accelerate this process, including its $2.65 billion purchase of food delivery firm Postmates last December and $1.1 billion buyout of alcohol delivery platform Drizly earlier this year.

The company is set to announce its Q1 results this week, but said in a recent regulatory filing that its delivery business reached an annualized gross bookings run-rate of $52 billion in March this year, growing over 150% year-over-year to hit an all-time high. Uber also said it expects “quarterly adjusted EBITDA profitability” for 2021.

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