Once again showing that the company's priorities have shifted since the pandemic began, Uber has just purchased Boston-based booze-delivery app Drizly, so that you can make sure to get a side whiskey brought to your door with your burger and fries.
Uber announced Tuesday morning that it has entered into a deal to buy nine-year-old Drizly for $1.1 billion in cash and stock, and while Drizly will remain a standalone app for now, much like Postmates it is likely to be subsumed into the UberEats universe before long. According to the announcement, Drizly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber and later be integrated into Uber Eats.
Drizly, which has a presence in 1,400 cities, partners with local merchants to sell their alcohol, much like competitors Saucey and Minibar.
Uber expects 90% of the purchase price of Drizly to be coming in stock.
"Wherever you want to go and whatever you need to get, our goal at Uber is to make people’s lives a little bit easier. That’s why we’ve been branching into new categories like groceries, prescriptions, and, now, alcohol," says Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.
Khosrowshahi went on to say that Drizly had increased its bookings 300% year over year since its founding in 2012. Drizly also reportedly had as much of a banner year in 2020 as other delivery services — Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly, told Beverage Dynamics last March that it was seeing between six and ten times its average growth rate in sales.
"We can accelerate that trajectory by exposing Drizly to the Uber audience and expanding its geographic presence into our global footprint in the years ahead," he said.
Uber has done some large-scale pivoting in the past 12 months, after seeing its revenue from its original core business, ride-hailing, decline immensely. As the SF Business Times reports, Uber’s mobility revenues fell 53% to $1.37 billion in the third quarter of 2020. But meanwhile the UberEats delivery business grew 125% to $1.45 billion.
Last summer, Uber followed moves by competitors DoorDash and Grubhub and acquired Postmates in an all-stock deal worth $2.65 billion, furthering the consolidation of the delivery-app world.
Just last week we learned that Uber was laying off 15% of Postmates' staff, around 185 employees, including senior leadership.
As CNN reports, this latest deal finds Uber continuing to shrink its ambitions as a company, focusing on meal and beverage delivery in the near term as it waits for ride-hailing to be more feasible and popular again, post-pandemic. In December, the company sold off its long-cherished self-driving car research division, after spending years of effort and billions of dollars to compete with the likes of Ford and Alphabet.
Also in December, Uber sold off its flying taxi business to Joby Aviation.
Previously: 11 Best Alcohol Delivery Services In SF