Uber Looks to Move Into the Grocery Market

In this week’s roundup, senior RSG contributor John Ince covers new Uber acquisitions in the grocery market, how Uber is addressing the protests by donating to groups addressing criminal justice reform, and more.

Uber Cleared To Buy Online Grocer Cornershop [Pymnts]

Sum and Substance:  Uber has been approved by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE), Chile’s antitrust regulator, to acquire the Chilean grocery shopping app Cornershop…

If the Uber-Cornershop deal is fully approved, Uber said it would expand grocery delivery beyond Mexico, Chile, Canada and Peru, and into other regions worldwide, according to Reuters….

My Take:  This is the direction Uber is moving – to grocery and dinners.  They’re putting their money where their priorities are.  I don’t know anything about Cornershop financials, but it’s getting a big push from management.

Uber CEO tweets that the company will donate $1 million to groups ‘making criminal justice in America more just for all’ [Business Insider]

Sum and Substance:  Uber CEO tweets that the company will donate $1 million to groups ‘making criminal justice in America more just for all’…

The donations will go to the Center for Policing Equity, a think tank that supports police transparency and equity, and the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that fights mass incarceration.

Khosrowshahi is not the first tech CEO to speak out in the wake of the George Floyd killing and nation-wide unrest, but Uber is the first tech company to make such a large donation.

Uber has received criticism for the ways it has handled social justice issues in the past, inlcuding the #DeleteUber campaign that caused hundreds of thousands to leave the platform.

My Take:  Uber is stepping up big here.  They’re not getting a lot of publicity for it, but it seems like the right thing to do. Especially now.

Taxis or tech? The dilemma for its parent as Uber Freight keeps burning cash  [Loadstar]

Sum and Substance: Uber Freight is forging partnerships with software providers in an effort to broaden its appeal, but will it be enough to avoid the chop from its parent company?

Uber is in the process of a strategic review of its business, recently laying off 3,000 employees and closing 45 offices, following an earlier purge that saw over 3,700 staff go.

A major part of this is a re-evaluation of non-core business segments where the company has been losing money – such as Uber Freight,  which continues to bleed cash.

My Take:  Uber is making tough choices all right. The question is… is Freight profitable enough?  It doesn’t look like it…

Uber’s Ride-Hailing Recovery Comes Slowly With Business Down 70%  [Bloomberg]

Sum and Substance:  Uber Technologies Inc.’s global rides business is down 70% from last year, a slight improvement from its low point in the coronavirus pandemic but an indication that recovery will come slowly.

My Take:  No surprise here. Business just isn’t the same.

Selling My Uber To Get More Uber  [Seeking Alpha]

Sum and Substance:  A Grubhub deal seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. Uber seems like the most likely winner of a consolidation deal at this time. Other players like Doordash or Amazon.com might make sense if Grubhub is excited to sell.

Editor’s Note: In this article, Seeking Alpha writer Trent Walsh covers why he is selling Uber – but it may not be for reasons you think.

You should read the article in its entirety, especially if you’re interested in learning more about Uber and its stock performance, but basically the Grubhub + Uber deal looks like it’s going to go through. According to this author, this could mean a strong bounce back for Uber.

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It appears as though Uber’s choice to diversify throughout the gig economy market is paying off and keeping the brand strong. Only time will tell if Uber can cut enough costs and raise prices to make this a truly profitable venture, but this acquisition seems to be a step in the right direction.

Readers, what do you think of this week’s roundup?

-John @ RSG