Ride-hailing company Uber is gearing up to expand its food delivery service, bringing UberEats into 100 new cities this year.
According to a report in the Financial Times citing Uber’s head of logistics Jason Droege, the company is expanding UberEats in a slew of cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This comes as it was able to lodge a profit for the business in a quarter of the locations it is already operating out of, reported the Financial Times. Droege told the FT that UberEats has been “more successful than we thought.” The report noted expanding UberEats will play a major role in the company’s push to diversify and expand outside of its core ride-hailing business ahead of a potential initial public offering in 2019.
Droege wouldn’t say how much the company plans to invest to expand the service into new cities but did note that the company’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is a “big fan” of UberEats. The service is already in more than 200 cities with expansion into Ireland, Egypt, Kenya, Ukraine, Romania and Czech Republic on its radar. That is in addition to rolling out the service in more than 40 more cities in the UK and 35 new cities in France. The food delivery market is valued at $28 billion in Europe, noted the report. Droege noted that of the 200 cities it’s already in, 45 were profitable in the year ending December 31. That compares to the year earlier, when just three of 50 cities it was operating in were profitable. At the end of 2017, UberEats accounted for around 10 percent of Uber’s gross revenue, coming in at $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter.
Uber isn’t the only one eyeing the market. Competition is heating up in Europe and around the globe, with Deliveroo gearing up to hire around 250 employees to expand its business globally, noted the Financial Times.