Uber has announced an agreement to acquire majority ownership of Cornershop, a leading Latin American startup offering 1-hour grocery delivery. The statement comes days after Walmart expanded its partnership with the intermediary in Canada, and months after Walmart was blocked from acquiring the platform in Mexico. Uber had previously attempted to expand its own on-demand delivery service by launching Uber Rush in 2014, but discontinued the service in 2018.
Uber will initially focus on scaling Cornershop’s reach in its local markets before launching the service in the US, where it will be met by intensifying competition from entrenched players Instacart, Amazon and Postmates. Uber recently rolled out a series of product updates that will tie in well with the future integration of Cornershop, including the expansion of virtual restaurant partnerships, a new rewards program and allergy-friendly filters.
With Uber’s backing, Cornershop may be able to reduce its high delivery fees for shoppers and the 15% commission it charges retailers for every purchase, which will drive order frequency and loyalty. As a result, brands will have more opportunities to bid for the platform’s Top Products section and paid banner ads to aid discovery and list building, and ultimately win the buy box.