Uber’s food delivery service has quickly grown into a huge operation that’s creating billions of dollars in sales for the San Francisco-headquartered company.
UberEats accounted for 8-10% of Uber’s global gross bookings in the second quarter, according to sources cited by The Financial Times on Monday that have reportedly seen the figures.
The figures cited by The Financial Times suggest that the two-year-old UberEats service — a standalone app separate from the main Uber taxi service — will record over $US3 billion (£2 billion) in gross sales this year.
Uber declined to comment.
Uber has had a tough year. There are the accusations of corporate sexism. The video of its founder angrily berating a driver. Secret “Greyball” software designed to evade authorities. Executives obtaining the medical records of a rape victim. Lawsuits around the world. The resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick. The company also lost its operating licence in London last month.
But UberEats has managed to stay out of the limelight. The service is now active in 108 cities (40 of which are in the UK) across 29 countries. It’s growing quickly, targeting 200 cities by the end of the year.
The unit had a turnover of $US700 million (£527 million) to $US870 million (£656 million) for the second quarter of this year, according to The Financial Times. Uber’s total gross bookings during the period were $US8.7 billion (£6.6 billion).
Uber’s food delivery operation is underpinned by Uber’s existing army of 2 million drivers, which can deliver food as well as passengers in some markets, as well as dedicated UberEats courier fleets.
Each UberEats sale includes the cost of the food and the delivery fee, meaning the average UberEats order is more expensive than the average Uber taxi ride.
But UberEats is unprofitable in most of the markets it operates in, with only 27 cities currently profitable.
There’s also fierce competition in the delivery market.
UberEats goes head-to-head with the likes of GrubHub in the US and Deliveroo in the UK. Amazon has also launched its own restaurant food delivery service called Amazon Restaurants, which is available to Prime members, while Facebook launched a food delivery service in the US last week.
Additional reporting by Rob Price.