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Uber Eats to expand into 100 cities including the Middle East, Africa, and Asia

Tanvi Dubey
13th Mar 2018
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UberEats, Uber’s food delivery service, is expanding to over 100 cities in Africa, the Middle East, and in Europe. Currently, UberEats operates in 200 cities, including many where Uber is yet to launch its ride-sharing service. In many global markets such as Taipei, Taiwan, Seoul, and South Korea, Uber Eats, in fact, eclipses the company’s main ride-sharing business.

TechCrunch reported that the service will specifically launch for the first time in Kenya, Ukraine, Ireland, Egypt, Romania, and the Czech Republic. It will launch in 40 new cities in the UK and 35 new cities in France.

A McKinsey report on the food delivery market published in 2016 had looked at the top players, which included top online deliverers like GrubHub and JustEat, both of whom made IPOs in 2014. Other biggies on the list included high valuation-powered Delivery Hero and Deliveroo. However, the report conspicuously didn’t mention Uber Eats, which had started in 2014 in San Francisco.

Though Uber Eats may not have had the first mover advantage, it has definitely been doing well, if we go by reports since then. In 2017, The New York Times published that Uber Eats was profitable in 27 cities of the 108 cities it was operating in. However, Uber has declined to share any revenue details about the same.

Uber Eats is under Jason Droege who looks at everything other than ride-sharing, Uber Everything. In an interview to the Financial Times, he said that Uber Eats had been “more successful than we thought.”

Given the resignation of Travis, and Dara Khosrowshahi taking over the reigns of Uber, the company has been dealing with turmoil and challenges in recent months. Uber is heading towards a public IPO, looking to raise loans, and also pull-back in Southeast Asia in exchange for a stake in Grab, its Singapore based-rival. While all this happens, the competition for Uber Eats continues to mount. DoorDash raised $535 million from a group led by SoftBank, the Japanese multinational conglomerate, who also happens to be Uber’s biggest investor.

Some of the cities in India where Uber Eats is operational in are Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. It was launched first in May 2017 in Mumbai. Bhavik Rathod was announced as the Head of Uber Eats, India, and in an interview to YourStory said, “With our data and technology, we can provide our restaurant partners the future capability to even start their own internet kitchens.”

Uber’s ride-sharing rival in India, Ola started Ola Cafe, but the venture shut shop. However, Ola continues to be in the game through Foodpanda. The latter was acquired by Germany-based online food delivery platform Delivery Hero in 2017. Ola partnered with Delivery Hero to acquire Foodpanda in exchange for one percent of its stock. With competitors like Swiggy and Ola looking for a more firm footing in this market, Uber Eats is likely to have tough competition in India. The competition is not even limited to India, but also the US and now globally, as Uber Eats continues its slow but steady expansion into new markets.

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