With the demand for touchless services on the rise around the globe in the COVID-19 era, San Francisco-based Uber Technologies is launching a grocery delivery service serving select Latin American and Canadian cities. The company is teaming up with Cornershop, a grocery delivery startup based in Santiago, Chile.
The service will be available through the Uber and Uber Eats apps. Uber is in the process of acquiring a majority stake in Cornershop. Later this month, Uber said in a press release, the grocery service will be rolled out in the United States.
“Today’s product integration marks an important step in our partnership with the team at Cornershop to bring grocery delivery to millions of consumers on the Uber platform,” Raj Beri, Uber’s global head of grocery, said in the release.
“Uber started on the premise that people should be able to more easily get to the places they need to go,” Beri added. “This has since evolved to connecting people to food from their favorite local restaurants, and we are thrilled to bring our product expertise to the world of grocery alongside the Cornershop team.”
Uber said it conducted “grocery delivery experiments with more than 9,500 merchants in over 30 countries on Uber Eats, where Uber has seen a 176% increase in grocery orders since February,” according to the release. After launching the new program with Cornershop, Uber “plans to roll out improvements to the grocery experience for shoppers and merchants alike globally, throughout the summer of 2020 and beyond.”
The move comes following news that Uber plans to buy Postmates for nearly $2.7 billion in stock. The fight is on over what company will get to be the biggest the fastest in the food delivery world.
The Postmates deal would give Uber Eats much more scale in U.S. food delivery once the deal closes (likely in first-quarter 2021). Uber Eats’ market share would reportedly increase to 37 percent from a current 29 percent.