Uber has never been content with being a mere ride-hailing service -- that's why the company upgraded its app into an "OS for everyday life" last month, while also running several other services that are well outside the scope of traditional ride-sharing platforms. For example, Uber offers restaurant delivery in the form of Uber Eats, and it rents out electric bikes through its JUMP service.
Now, Uber is seeking to carve out some territory for itself in the grocery delivery industry through its upcoming acquisition of Cornershop, a startup that delivers food, toiletries, and other household supplies to customers on-demand (for a fee, of course).
"Whether it's getting a ride, ordering food from your favorite restaurant, or soon, getting groceries delivered, we want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. "We're excited to partner with the team at Cornershop to scale their vision, and look forward to working with them to bring grocery delivery to millions of consumers on the Uber platform."
Uber calls their agreement a "partnership," but since the company is acquiring a controlling, majority stake in Cornershop, "ownership" certainly seems like the more appropriate term. Regardless, this news will likely be exciting to anybody who already uses Uber's various services extensively. With that said, we don't know when the company will begin taking advantage of Cornershop's grocery delivery infrastructure -- however, Uber will probably want to earn a return on their investment sooner rather than later.
Cornershop, according to CEO Oskar Hjertonsson, was initially started with the Latin American market in mind. However, with Uber's funding and global reach, Hjertonsson believes his team will be able to bring Cornershop's "unique" approach to on-demand groceries to the rest of the world as well.
Uber's investment in Cornershop is expected to finalize in early 2020, so long as it doesn't meet any roadblocks from regulators. It's unclear whether or not Cornershop will be retaining its name and branding when the deal is finished.