Uber in early discussions to acquire Europe’s Deliveroo

A food delivery cycle courier, working for Deliveroo, operated by Roofoods Ltd., passes motor scooters with boxes for Deliveroo, left and center, and UberEats, operated by Uber Technologies Inc., right, in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is in early talks to buy food-delivery company Deliveroo for several billion dollars, according to people familiar with the plans.

A bid for London-based Deliveroo, last valued at more than $2 billion, would mark a major attempt by Uber to dominate the food-delivery business in Europe. An acquisition price is unknown. Any offer would need to be considerably above its latest valuation, according to people with direct knowledge of Deliveroo plans.

The talks could fall apart, in part because Deliveroo and its investors have been reluctant to relinquish independence, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Spokesmen at Deliveroo and Uber declined to comment.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has made the company’s food-delivery business a top priority ahead of a planned initial public offering in the second half of 2019. The San Francisco-based company is weighing other acquisitions, too. It’s in talks with Middle Eastern ride-sharing rival Careem, people familiar with the matter have said. After selling its ride-hailing businesses in Southeast Asia, China and Russia, Uber is eager to buy competitors, rather than sell its remaining local businesses.

Deliveroo is one of Europe’s biggest startups and last year raised about $480 million from investors including Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. The company competes directly with Uber Eats, Uber’s food delivery business.

Deliveroo was in financing talks last year with SoftBank Group Corp., one of Uber’s major investors. The negotiations abruptly ended after SoftBank concentrated on backing Uber.

Although little-known in the crowded U.S. market, which it has avoided, Deliveroo is ubiquitous in Europe’s capitals. The service is available in more than 200 cities on four continents.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.