Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wasn’t kidding when he’s recently said ride-sharing will be a comparatively smaller part of the company’s future than it was before the pandemic. Now Uber is bringing alcohol delivery into the fold with the announcement of an agreement to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.
Drizly is the leading on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States, operating in more than 1,400 cities across the country and designed to be fully compliant with local regulations. Drizly already works with thousands of local merchants to provide consumers with a wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits with what it calls “competitive, transparent pricing.”
After the completion of the transaction, Drizly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber. Drizly’s marketplace will eventually be integrated with the Uber Eats app, while also maintaining a separate Drizly app.
From our own experience, having a case of beer and a few bottles delivered to one’s home is a special kind of thrill that makes staying home and catching a buzz even more exciting than it normally would be. In all seriousness, there are many reasons that alcohol delivery can and should play a larger role in the convenience economy, especially if states extend the loosened regulations put in place due to the pandemic.
In the press release announcing the news, Drizly said it plans to “innovate and expand independently in its fast-growing and competitive sector, while also gaining access to the advanced mobile marketplace technologies of the world’s largest food delivery and rides-haring platform.”
The release added that merchants on Drizly will be able to benefit from Uber’s routing technology and significant consumer base. In addition, Uber’s rewards and subscription programs will soon include benefits and perks on Drizly.
“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 and his amazing team have built Drizly into an incredible success story, profitably growing gross bookings more than 300 percent 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,” said Khosrowshahi.
“Drizly has spent the last eight years building the infrastructure, technology, and partnerships to bring the consumer a shopping experience they deserve. It’s a proud day for the Drizly team as we recognize what we’ve accomplished to date but also with the humility that much remains to be done to fulfill 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,” said Drizly co-founder and CEO Cory Rellas.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close within the first half of 2021.