Image Source: ET Retail
LONDON, UK Uber has launched a service in Paris that delivers necessary products to customers’ homes in as little as 15 minutes, taking on Europe’s buzzy grocery delivery start-ups. The ride-hailing and food-delivery service announced that it has expanded its collaboration with Carrefour, a French retail brand, to launch Carrefour Sprint. From Tuesday, it will be available on the Uber Eats app. Rather than dispatching couriers to Carrefour shops, Uber is relying on Cajoo’s network of “dark stores,” which are tiny facilities where pickers and packers prepare orders for delivery. Cajoo and Carrefour teamed earlier this year to help Cajoo launch its own speedy delivery service. Cajoo is also a minority shareholder in the retail group.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in venture financing have generated a wave of supermarket start-ups in Europe in recent years, fueled by increasing demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Getir, a Turkish startup, raised $550 million in June at a valuation of $7.5 billion, while Gorillas, a German company, just concluded a $1 billion investment round headed by food delivery company Delivery Hero, valuing the company at $3.1 billion. Uber will compete in Paris against Getir, Gorillas, UK start-up Zapp, and Russian internet behemoth Yandex.
European food delivery businesses are also getting in on the game, with Deliveroo in the United Kingdom partnering with supermarket Morrisons to establish its own rapid grocery delivery service. Rapid grocery delivery firms, according to critics, would struggle to become profitable due to the significant expenses of scaling and competing with major incumbent merchants. Uber has been expanding its food and grocery delivery business over the last year as demand for its ride-hailing service has plummeted owing to Covid-19 lockdowns.
Users will be able to order from almost 2,000 daily needs, including fruits and vegetables, dry goods, and cleaning supplies, thanks to Uber’s new relationship with Carrefour. Cajoo has the products at nine of its dark boutiques in the French capital. The two firms teamed earlier this year to allow people to purchase groceries online from roughly 2,000 retailers. In the following weeks, Uber wants to expand Carrefour Sprint to additional French cities, including Lyon, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. In the United States, Uber has a similar arrangement with GoPuff to deliver basics in minutes. Simultaneously, Gopuff is extending its fast grocery delivery service abroad, having purchased UK rival Dija for an unknown sum in August.