Food delivery startup Glovo held early-stage talks with Uber, Deliveroo: sources

[LONDON] Spanish food delivery startup Glovo has drawn preliminary interest from Uber Technologies Inc and Deliveroo in recent months as the industry undergoes a wave of consolidation, people familiar with the matter said.

Talks between the Barcelona-based company and potential partners have been on and off and may not lead to a transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. While suitors have shown preliminary interest, Glovo isn't actively looking for a buyer, the people said.

Glovo is continuing to raise fresh funding and has also held early-stage talks with SoftBank Group Corp about a potential investment, two of the people said. Glovo, which has markets in Europe, Latin America and Africa, may prefer to explore partnerships or deals on a region-by-region basis rather than a full sale, one of the people said.

Representatives for Glovo, Uber, Deliveroo and SoftBank declined to comment.

Delivery platforms have become prime takeover targets as startups battle for survival against more established incumbents and companies branch out into new services. On Monday, Just Eat and Takeaway.com agreed to a £5 billion (S$8.41 billion) combination, less than six months after Takeaway.com spent about US$1 billion on rival Delivery Hero's German operations. Last month, Glovo struck a deal with French grocer Carrefour to make deliveries in France, Spain, Italy and Argentina.

Square Inc is selling its Caviar food-delivery app to DoorDash Inc for US$410 million, while Amazon.com Inc has agreed to invest in Deliveroo.

Glovo, which markets itself as an app for anything and lets users request a range of products, was valued at about 850 million euros (S$1.32 billion) in its last fundraising round, one of the people said. The company is considering an initial public offering as soon as 2020, people familiar with the plans said in April. Investors in the firm include restaurant-owner AmRest Holdings, venture capital firms Lakestar and Seaya Ventures and Delivery Hero.

Uber Eats, targeting an expansion into grocery delivery, has held talks with the UK's second-biggest grocer, J Sainsbury, people familiar with the matter said last month. The supermarket operator this month announced it was partnering Deliveroo to bring hot pizza to homes in four British cities.

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