Uber has announced that it will acquire US delivery intermediary Postmates in a USD2.65bn transaction, bringing together Uber’s global Rides and Eats platforms with Postmates’ on-demand food delivery business. The platforms will merge delivery operations, meaning that while the Postmates app will continue to run separately, it will be supported by a larger, more efficient combined delivery network with drivers delivering orders for both businesses.
Postmates is highly complementary to Uber with differentiated geographic focus areas and customer demographics, as well as having strong relationships with small and medium-sized restaurants. Postmates has also been a pioneer in ‘delivery as a service’, an area Uber has been expanding into with the recent delivery of groceries and other essentials. The partnership accelerates further the trend of consolidation within America's fast-growing intermediary segment, following the rapid expansion of Instacart as well as Grubhub’s acquisition by Just Eat for USD7.3bn.
CPGs should treat the rapidly-growing intermediary segment as a major rising channel to customer, developing tailored product, pricing and promotional strategies to drive conversion on these platforms. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, intermediary players - led by Instacart - will continue to consolidate numerous regional and small players, bringing them online and creating alternative distribution routes for brands seeking to diversify away from Walmart and Amazon.
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