Uber in Talks to Sell Its Food-Delivery Business in India

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SAN FRANCISCO
Uber is in advanced discussions to sell its food-delivery business in India, according to two people with knowledge of the plans, as the company moves to stem its losses.
The ride-hailing company is nearing a deal to sell its Uber Eats service in India to Zomato, an Indian food-delivery service, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly.
A spokesman for Uber declined to comment. The talks were reported earlier by TechCrunch, which said a deal would value the India business of Uber Eats at $400 million.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, has been trying to pare back money-losing businesses to prove to investors that the company can turn a profit. Investors have agitated both in public and behind the scenes for Uber to clean up its balance sheet since it went public earlier this year.
Some investors have privately grumbled that Uber also paid too much for Careem, a Dubai-based ride-hailing and delivery company that Uber announced this spring it would acquire for $3.1 billion.
While Uber Eats has been a bright spot for revenue growth, the company has offered subsidies and free promotional offerings to gain new users, a strategy that has been expensive. In a conference call with investors last month, Khosrowshahi said his plan for Uber Eats was to take first or second place in every city it operates.
“If we can’t make it to that level, we’ll look to dispose or we’ll get out of the market,” he said at the time.
In India particularly, Uber Eats has struggled to sign up restaurants, diners and delivery agents in a brutally competitive market where Zomato and other delivery startups like Swiggy are well established. Uber has had to offer heavy incentives to lure customers there.
In September, Uber also announced that it was pulling its Eats business out of South Korea, where the company faced stiff competition from local startups.
Khosrowshahi has previously retreated in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, where the company faces difficulties competing. In 2017, under its chief executive at the time, Travis Kalanick, Uber pulled out of China, where the company was burning billions of dollars. That same year, Uber largely withdrew from Russia.


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