Uber in talks to buy Deliveroo ahead of Taiwan expansion

Uber is making food delivery a priority before going public next year

Deliveroo bicycle delivery

Deliveroo bicycle delivery (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Less than two weeks after U.K. based food delivery company Deliveroo announced its plans to set up shop in Taiwan, competitor Uber is reportedly in talks to purchase the company.

A Bloomberg report says that the Deliveroo company, valued at about US$2 billion, is already in early talks for a potential purchase by Uber Technologies Inc. for an unspecified amount.

If the deal goes through, it would signal a major move for Uber to dominate the food delivery market. The deal still faces several hurdles, and may not go through, since many of the founders of Deliveroo are reluctant to give up the company’s independence, reports Bloomberg.

The news that Uber is seeking to buy out a major competitor in Europe comes ahead of Deliveroo’s plan to expand to Taipei, Taiwan later this year, and rumors of a public outing for the company, according to reports.

Uber, based in San Fransisco, is also expecting to go public in late 2019, and according to Bloomberg is making its food delivery business a priority ahead of the opening, after selling off many of its ride-hailing enterprises in Southeast Asia, China, and Russia.

If a deal does go through, it would mean an even larger share and less competition for Uber Eats in Taiwan, which has a lot of potential to be a lucrative market for the on-demand delivery business, as the market expands throughout Taiwan’s major cities along the densely populated west coast.

Deliveroo is one of Europe’s most successful start-ups and was founded by British-Taiwanese Will Shu in 2012. It expects to bring 100s of jobs to Taipei with the opening of the new branch later this year.