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Uber to buy Drizly for $1.1bn

Ride-sharing firm Uber has agreed to acquire alcohol e-commerce platform Drizly for approximately US$1.1 billion.

Drizly app
Sales on Drizly rocketed by 350% in 2020

The deal will see San Francisco-based Uber Technologies, operator of ride-sharing app Uber and food delivery service Uber Eats, move into alcohol for the first time.

Available in more than 1,400 cities across the majority of US states, Drizly is the nation’s leading on-demand alcohol marketplace. The platform works with local retailers to offer consumers a wide collection of spirits, beer and wine.

“Drizly has spent the last eight years building the infrastructure, technology and partnerships to bring the consumer a shopping experience they deserve,” said Drizly co-founder and CEO Cory Rellas. “It’s a proud day for the Drizly team as we recognise what we’ve accomplished to date but also with the humility that much remains to be done to fulfil our vision. With this in mind, we are thrilled to join a world-class Uber team whose platform will accelerate Drizly on its mission to be there when it matters ­– committed to life’s moments and the people who create them.”

The agreement will see Boston-headquartered Drizly become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber. The platform will be integrated with the Uber Eats app, while also maintaining its own app.

Drizly said it aims to innovate and expand independently in the ‘fast-growing and competitive sector’. The deal will allow Drizly to leverage the ‘advanced mobile marketplace technologies’ of Uber, the world’s largest food delivery and ride-sharing platform.

Retailers on Drizly will be able to benefit from Uber’s routing technology and substantial clientele, while the move will also provide delivery drivers with more ways to earn money. Furthermore, Uber said its rewards and subscription programmes will offer more value to consumers through new benefits and perks on the alcohol platform.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: “Wherever you want to go and whatever you need to get, our goal at Uber is to make people’s lives a little bit easier. That’s why we’ve been branching into new categories like groceries, prescriptions and, now, alcohol.

“Cory [Rellas] and his amazing team have built Drizly into an incredible success story, profitably growing gross bookings more than 300% year over year. By bringing Drizly into the Uber family, we can accelerate that trajectory by exposing Drizly to the Uber audience and expanding its geographic presence into our global footprint in the years ahead.”

Uber expects more than 90% of the transaction to be paid to Drizly’s stockholders through shares of Uber common stock, with the remaining balance to be paid in cash.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed during the first half of 2021.

Sales on Drizly rocketed by 350% in 2020. On Drizly’s platform, Tequila has grown its share by 22% over the past year, while mezcal’s share has risen by 57%.

Last month, Drizly revealed five alcohol trends in the US for 2021.

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