Uber Is Buying Alcohol Delivery Startup Drizly for $1.1B

After a year of triple-digit growth amid the pandemic, Drizly will eventually be integrated into the Uber Eats platform, further expanding the ride-hailing giant’s suite of delivery services.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Feb. 02, 2021
Uber Is Buying Alcohol Delivery Startup Drizly for $1.1B
SF-based Uber is buying Boston-based alcohol delivery startup Drizly for $1.1B
Image: Drizly / Facebook

On Tuesday, Uber announced that it plans to purchase Boston-based alcohol delivery startup Drizly for $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Founded in 2012, Drizly began as a self-declared “Uber for alcohol,” but launched its own e-commerce platform in 2016, telling Built In at the time that it was “evolving from an on-demand startup to a tech startup.” The company is now a leading on-demand alcohol marketplace and is compliant with local regulations in more than 1,400 cities across the majority of the United States, offering beer, wine and spirits at an affordable price.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi describes Drizly as an “incredible success story,” having achieved more than 300 percent year-over-year growth. Drizly has been particularly successful amid the pandemic, closing on a $50 million Series C round over the summer.

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“Drizly has spent the last eight years building the infrastructure, technology, and partnerships to bring the consumer a shopping experience they deserve,” Drizly co-founder and CEO Cory Rellas said in a statement. “We are thrilled to join a world-class Uber team whose platform will accelerate Drizly on its mission to be there when it matters — committed to life’s moments and the people who create them.”

The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year. Upon completion, Drizly will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber, and its marketplace will eventually be integrated into the Uber Eats app, according to the press release. In the meantime, Drizly will maintain its separate app.

This acquisition is certainly in line with Uber’s trajectory lately. Over the last year, the ride-hailing giant has launched its own prescription delivery service, and a same-day, no-contact, last-mile delivery service. Plus, Uber Freight, a service that connects shippers (companies sending out shipments) and carriers (trucking companies and their drivers), raised a massive $500 million Series A round in October, bringing its valuation to more than $3 billion.

“Wherever you want to go and whatever you need to get, our goal at Uber is to make people’s lives a little bit easier. That’s why we’ve been branching into new categories like groceries, prescriptions and, now, alcohol,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “By bringing Drizly into the Uber family, we can accelerate that trajectory by exposing Drizly to the Uber audience and expanding its geographic presence into our global footprint in the years ahead.”

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