Uber is moving into the highly competitive world of online grocery delivery with the acquisition of a startup called Cornershop. The agreement, for an undisclosed sum, will strengthen the company's efforts to expand to non-core services.
Founded in 2015, Cornershop is currently active in Chile, Peru, Mexico and Canada, and is headquartered in Santiago. In a statement said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that it would attempt to "scale the vision and look forward to working with them to bring grocery supplies to millions of consumers in the Uber platform." That will ultimately mean the launch of the service in the United States, even though the agreement is still subject to government approval.
But Uber enters a crowded field, with major companies like Amazon, Instacart and Postkamerats jockey for market share with major retailers like Kroger and Walmart. Nor is it an obvious money maker. Right now, only 3 percent of US grocery sales are online. Customers say they feel free to shop groceries online for fear of being overcharged or experiencing delayed deliveries, according to a recent survey.
This will not be Uber's first goal to expand on-demand delivery service: the company first started Uber Rush in 201
Now Uber wants to be an "operating system" for cities, and the delivery of groceries seems like a more obvious spectacle. In a recent interview with The Verge Khosrowshahi says that the company will consider any type of business that fits that ethic.
"I think we will look at many categories going forward and some of them we will fulfill through our own internal services," he said. "But I think you should think of Uber as a marketplace."