Uber has made an offer to buy Grubhub, according to a report from Bloomberg. A potential deal could be reached as early as this month and would be an all-stock takeover where Uber would absorb Grubhub into its overall operations.
Details on this story are still forthcoming.
Food delivery has been a booming business for Uber of late, with its Eats business seeing a 52 percent increase in gross bookings for the first quarter of 2020. However, the company remains committed to its strategy of only operating in markets where it is the number one or number two player. That has led Uber to exit certain global markets — India, South Korea, a bunch of Middle Eastern countries — where local delivery apps are far more popular.
That strategy is much tricker in the U.S., though, where DoorDash leads in terms of market share and Grubhub comes in second in many cities, according to recent numbers from Second Measure. Sticking to its strategy of only operating in markets where it is the number one or two service would mean Uber would have to exit many U.S. cities.
Hence a potential deal with Grubhub. The combined forces of the two would in all likelihood knock DoorDash out of the top spot in many places, and give Uber a larger share of major metropolises like New York City and Chicago.
This kind of market consolidation was already in the works before the pandemic hit. Last year, Just Eat and Takeaway.com announced a merger that was finally recently approved. Delivery Hero bought South Korean service Woowa Bros. for $4 billion. And Brazil-based iFood announced, also in 2019, that it was merging with Colombian delivery heavyweight Domicillios.com, to corner more of the Latin American market. All of which is to say, it was only a matter of time before third-party food delivery consolidation came for the U.S. markets.
Update (May 12): Grubhub released the following statement today:
“While our policy remains to not comment on specific market rumors, we want to reiterate our views with respect to M&A-related matters given the current level of recent speculation.
“We remain squarely focused on delivering shareholder value. As we have consistently said, consolidation could make sense in our industry, and, like any responsible company, we are always looking at value-enhancing opportunities. That said, we remain confident in our current strategy and our recent initiatives to support restaurants in this challenging environment.”