Uber Eats India’s sale to Zomato part of wider trend

Indian multinational restaurant aggregator and food delivery company Zomato has announced the acquisition of Uber Eats’ Indian business. 

The all-stock transaction means Uber now owns 9.99% of Zomato, one of two major ordering and delivery firms in India alongside Swiggy.

“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Deepinder Goyal, CEO of Zomato, in a press release

Uber is retaining its core ride-hailing business, competing in the Indian market with the home-grown Ola Cabs. Uber Eats will cease operations and redirect dependants to Zomato’s platform.

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 The sale reflects a longer-term trend. Having previously extended into many territories across the globe, Uber has recently focused on letting those with local knowledge take over its regional businesses in exchange for shares. 

Such a trend can be easily perceived in the 2016 acquisition of Uber’s ride-hailing business in China by DiDi, or the 2018 acquisition by Grab of its Southeast Asian operations. In both cases, perhaps inspired by Uber’s own attempts at diversification, the purchasing companies have focused on becoming ‘super apps’, offering a wide range of services tailored to local markets.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: “Our Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years, and I couldn’t be prouder of their ingenuity and dedication. India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader. We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success.”

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