Uber has agreed to acquire the largest US alcohol-delivery app Drizly for about $1.1bn, a deal that will help the tech giant expand its delivery business.
People involved in the deal talks said the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company beat rival food delivery app companies to buy Drizly, which has grown rapidly during the pandemic as consumers used it to buy beer, wine and spirits while staying at home.
Uber plans to integrate Drizly’s infrastructure into the Uber Eats app, while maintaining the existing standalone service. Drizly, based in Boston, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber.
The deal comes months after Uber acquired US food delivery rival Postmates for $2.65bn, and will be paid with more than 90 per cent in Uber stock, with the remainder in cash. Uber shares rose more than 7 per cent after the announcement.
Uber said the agreement would allow it to be “fully compliant with local regulations in more than 1,400 cities across a majority of US states”.
The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2021, and is subject to regulatory approval.
Drizly co-founder and chief executive Cory Rellas is expected to join Uber in an executive role and will focus on developing the company’s alcohol delivery business, according to people briefed about the matter.
“Cory and his amazing team have built Drizly into an incredible success story, profitably growing gross bookings more than 300 per cent year-over-year,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive.
Uber’s addition of alcohol sales is the latest effort to diversify products available through delivery apps, which have experienced surging demand during the pandemic.
It comes after Uber’s deal to acquire Latin America-focused grocery delivery app Cornershop, which it is using to expand into other markets. In November, Philadelphia-based grocery delivery app GoPuff announced it would acquire West Coast alcohol retailer BevMo! in a deal worth a reported $350m.