Uber Technologies Inc will buy Drizly for about $1.1 billion in a largely stock-based deal as the company looks to expand delivery services that have flourished during the pandemic. Uber said that the acquisition of the on-demand alcohol platform will allow the company to offer beer, wine and spirits in the majority of U.S. states in addition to groceries, package and prescription delivery it recently launched in some U.S. cities.
The COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown measures across the world dealt a blow to Uber’s ride-hailing services, pushing the company to branch out into new categories of delivery services. The company’s food delivery business Eats surpassed rides revenue for the first time in the second quarter of 2020.
Uber declined to give details on what demand it projects for alcohol sales, but said Drizly had grown gross bookings profitably 300% on a yearly basis.
Drizly, which says it works with retail partners in more than 1,400 North American cities, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber. It will be integrated into the Eats platform, while also maintaining its separate app. In May 2020, Drizly launched Lantern, a cannabis delivery service currently operating in Boston and Detroit. Uber told Reuters that Lantern is not part of the Drizly deal.
Lantern sells marijuana products, including plants for smoking, cannabis vaping products and edibles, including chocolate and chews with cannabis, according to its website.
Uber expects that more than 90% of the deal will be made through Uber stock and the balance paid in cash to Drizly stockholders.
Uber’s purchase of Drizly is one of biggest announcements in the spirits industry in the last 12 months, surpassing last August’s news that Diageo would be paying up to $610 million for Aviation Gin LLC and Davos Brands LLC, whose portfolio also includes Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal, and TYKU Sake.