Uber is buying alcohol delivery service Drizly for $1.1B

Brian Heater
·2-min read

Uber today announced plans to acquire alcohol delivery service Drizly. The approximately $1.1 billion deal includes stock and cash and is expected to close in the first half of the year. The plan will build Drizly’s marketplace directly into the Uber Eats app, though the company notes that it will maintain Drizly as a standalone app offering as well, for the time being.

Certainly there's a marketplace fit here. Uber provides the underlying ride hailing and delivery technologies, while Drizly can help the company expand Uber Eats into an even more potentially lucrative service.

"[CEO Cory Rellas] and his amazing team have built Drizly into an incredible success story, profitably growing gross bookings more than 300 percent year-over-year," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a release. "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."

The service has experienced a steady roll out in markets across the U.S. Though local liquor laws have offered something of a hurdle for expansion. Last month, it added Atlanta to the list, teaming up with a dozen or so local markets and liquor stores to expand delivery. Like Uber Eats, Drizly teams with local merchants in the markets it services. The company says its services reach more than 1,400 cities in North America at last count. No doubt pandemic-related shutdowns have also gone a ways toward expanding the appeal of alcohol delivery.

Founded in 2012, Boston-based Drizly has raised just under $120 million to date, per Crunchbase. That includes a $34.5 million Series C back in late-2018. More recently, the service was hit with a data breach. The breach, which was disclosed last July, was believed to have impacted up to 2.5 million accounts.

Uber says it expects around 90% of the payment to Drizly stockholders to be made in Uber stock, with the remainder coming via cash. The deal is pending standard regulatory approval.