Delivery

SoftBank Envisions Fewer Food Delivery Rivals Amid Digital Shift

SoftBank Envisions Fewer Food Delivery Rivals

The food delivery market may have fewer platforms competing for diners in many places, with reports emerging that ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. was in discussions to purchase restaurant ordering platform Grubhub Inc. A senior executive for SoftBank Group Corp., which partly owns Uber, indicated at an event that the firm foresees consolidation in most locations.

In a webcast, Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner in SoftBank's Latin America Fund, said per Reuters, “It’s difficult to have more than two players in the food delivery area; there will be global consolidation.”

The Latin American Fund also holds a part of Colombia-founded Rappi. SoftBank also holds a piece of Didi Chuxing, the China ridesharing firm. Passoni noted that Didi Eats has experienced a formidable expansion in Mexico.

Passoni said the health crisis has made him become “more comfortable” with the firm’s LATAM portfolio, as many of its investments are seeing strong demand due to the increasing digitalization of economies and social distancing practices. PYMNTS data show that consumers are eating, working and shopping using increasingly digital means.

Home has turned into a digital command center, as the move from offline to digital has been dramatic over the past few weeks. As of April 11, approximately 15 percent of consumers had digitized their restaurant routines, up from roughly 13 percent on March 27, about 8 percent on March 17 and some 5 percent on March 6.

Once the pandemic ends, only about half – or 48 percent – of consumers expect to resume their normal activities. Restaurants have the most difficult road ahead, as diners can’t see – and might not trust – what’s occurring in the kitchens where their food is being prepared. They also may not be comfortable sitting too close to other customers.

Three in 10 – or 30 percent – of the consumers PYMNTS studied indicated that they would not go back to restaurants as they had done in the past. Consumers, however, have discovered that the web makes their everyday routines more efficient and gives them more time to spend on other tasks.

Once they have made investments in creating new digital accounts on eCommerce sites, those consumers will be more likely to stick with the online option – especially if they believe that they can’t go back to the places they visited the same way they once did.

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