Uber has started grocery delivery in Latin America and Canada, the company announced on Tuesday. In the cities where grocery delivery will be available in these territories, Uber will be relying on its acquisition of Cornershop, a Chilean grocery delivery startup. In Latin America, Uber will be delivering groceries in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. In Mexico, one of Uber’s largest markets outside the US, the company awaits regulatory approvals. “Uber and Cornershop continue to work closely with COFECE, the Mexican Competition Authority, as they assess the final component of the investment, bringing together Uber and Cornershop in Mexico,” the company said in a statement.
As the ridesharing and cab booking company faces a global shortage in ride demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, moving goods is an opportunity the company has been moving towards. In the US, the company announced on Monday that it would acquire Postmates, a large delivery startup, for $2.65 billion. “Postmates has been an early pioneer of “delivery-as-a-service,” which complements Uber’s growing efforts in the delivery of groceries, essentials, and other goods,” the company said. In an interview with CNBC, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that he was confident this acquisition would help Uber become profitable by 2021. As the recession set in, Uber laid of 6,700 employees, including one-fourth of its India workforce.
Uber deliveries in India
In India, Uber sold off its Uber Eats business to Zomato in January, leaving the company with few options to pursue grocery delivery in the country immediately. Zomato started delivering groceries almost immediately after the country started locking down, announcing delivery of essentials under the Zomato Market brand, though Mint reports that it is scaling back on that effort as restaurant orders have started to recover. Uber has taken baby steps towards delivery, announcing a pickup-and-drop service called Uber Connect.