Uber buys Drizly: Free booze coming soon?

Feb 3, 2021

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Get ready to have a new option when getting alcohol delivered to your front door with the Uber app. On Tuesday, Uber finalized a deal to acquire on-demand alcohol delivery service Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

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With the acquisition, Uber will have the ability to offer beer, wine and spirits on delivery in its existing Uber Eats app in most U.S. states. The alcohol delivery functionality will join the likes of grocery, package and prescription delivery services Uber recently began offering in some regions.

Drizly is designed to be fully compliant with regulations in more than 1,400 cities across the United States. By working with local merchants to deliver customers alcohol on demand, Drizly will eventually be integrated within the Uber Eats app. Drizly will also retain its own, separate app.

Uber’s move into the on-demand alcohol delivery market is the latest for the ride-share giant as it looks to expand its portfolio to businesses that have succeeded in the coronavirus pandemic. In July 2020, Uber announced that it had acquired food delivery service — and competitor of its own Uber Eats platform — Postmates.

Related: Here are 24 food delivery promos to help you save money on your next meal

In the second quarter of 2020, Uber Eats revenue passed revenue earned from standard Uber rides for the first time.

Uber declined to provide the returns it expects to see from the Drizly acquisition, but it did say that Drizly had grown gross bookings profitability 300% on a yearly basis.

Lantern, Drizly’s cannabis delivery service that currently operates in Boston and Detroit, is not included as part of the deal, according to Reuters. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that Uber could be interested in cannabis delivery in the future, but it’s not currently on the cards.

Related: 4 ways to use your Amex Platinum’s Uber credit while at home

With the acquisition brings a potentially new perk for cardholders of some American Express cards. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a benefit of up to $200 in annual Uber credits, which can also be used towards Uber Eats purchases. Meanwhile, the American Express® Gold Card has a new benefit wherein cardholders will earn $10 monthly Uber Cash credits (for use in the U.S.) — up to $120 annually. Similarly, these credits can be used on Uber Eats orders.

Related: Amex Gold cardholders’ new $10 monthly Uber credits starting to post

While the American Express card perks aren’t confirmed to be eligible for Drizly purchases on the Uber Eats app, it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless. We should know more soon.

Featured photo by Oscar Wong/Getty Images.

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