With the acquisition of the startup Cornershop, Uber enters the highly competitive world of online grocery deliveries. The business, for an undisclosed amount, will support the company's efforts to expand into businesses outside of its core business.
Cornershop was founded in 2015 and currently operates in Chile, Peru, Mexico and Canada. The head office is located in Santiago. In a statement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said she wanted "to scale their vision and look forward to working with them to enable millions of consumers to deliver food on the Uber platform." The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
But Uber enters a crowded field, and giant companies like Amazon, Instacart, and Postmates are struggling for market share with major grocers such as Kroger and Walmart. And it's not an obvious money-maker either. Currently, only 3 percent of food sales are made online in the US. According to a recent survey, customers are reluctant to search online for food because they fear paying too much or receiving late deliveries.
This is not Uber's first attempt to expand its on-demand delivery service Uber Rush in 201
Now Uber wants to be an "operating system" for cities, and delivery of food seems to be a more obvious game. In a recent interview with The Verge Khosrowshahi said the company would consider any type of business that fits this ethos.
"I think we will look at many categories in the future and some of them will be fulfilled through our own internal services," he said. "But I think you should think about Uber as a marketplace."