Maria Montero

Uber is said to be close to making a tactical exit …

Uber You’ve said categorically that you won’t be leaving India (or any other market) after a withdrawal from China, Russia, and Southeast Asia, but does that include your food delivery business?

The answer could well be yes. If the media reports are correct, Uber is on the cusp of a tactical exit from India’s food delivery industry.

The Economic Times of India reports that Uber is in the final stages of a deal that would see Swiggy, the food delivery service that recently raised $ 1 billion and expanded to general deliveries, eat Uber Eats in the morning. India in exchange for a ride to the US He signs a 10 percent stake in his business. More recently, Swiggy was said to have been valued at $ 3.3 billion after that billion-dollar round, led by Naspers, including new backers Tencent and Uber investor Coatue.

Uber Eats is touted as a major revenue generator for the company. The Information previously reported that it raised $ 1.5 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2018 alone, and the company has fueled expansion in Asia. Uber Eats landed in India nearly two years ago but is in the middle of a dog fight between Swiggy, which raised capital three times last year, and Zomato, which is backed by Alibaba.

The battle has already hit peripheral players including FoodPanda, the service acquired by rival Ober Ola in late 2017. Ola has been reported to have cut costs at FoodPanda and shifted focus to a more cloud-based kitchen strategy. sustainable. However, Zomato and Swiggy are still aggressive.

Based on that backdrop, and Uber’s upcoming IPO, it would make sense to consolidate costs and yet retain a share of the market. Uber did exactly that through its exit deal with Grab in Southeast Asia, which allowed it to hand over its transportation and food delivery businesses in exchange for a 27.5 percent stake in Grab. .

That deal, which I argued was a victory not a loss for Uber, pulled the company out of a costly subsidy war and gave it a stake in a growing business. It could well be a recipe that Uber repeats for the Indian food delivery space.

Note: The original version of this article has been updated to note that Coatue is an investor in both Uber and Swiggy.