Uber offloads Indian food delivery arm

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An Uber Eats rider cycles through central London on February 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Uber has sold its meal delivery business in India to Zomato, one of its local competitors, as it steps up efforts to achieve profitability.

India is one of Uber’s biggest markets for rides, but its Uber Eats meal delivery service has struggled to keep up with the two largest online food-delivery players Zomato and Swiggy.

“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Uber.

In exchange for the network of restaurants, delivery drivers and customers that Uber Eats has developed in India since 2017, Uber will receive 9.99 per cent stake in Zomato, Eastern Eye, sister publication of Asian Trader, reported.

Uber, which promised investors profitability by the end of 2021, has already cut expenses and shed more than 1,000 employees in 2019.

Its Uber Eats service is growing fast but faces intense competition in many countries.

Uber Eats users in India are now being directed to Zomato, which boasts more than 70 million users per month.