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Uber gets into grocery deliveries with Cornershop acquisition

After Uber Rush folded last year, the ride-hailing company looks to give on-demand delivery another try.

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Uber's acquisition of Cornershop is still pending regulatory approval.

Angela Lang/CNET

Uber is expanding its delivery horizons. The ride-hailing company announced Friday that it's acquiring majority ownership in the grocery delivery startup Cornershop. The investment, which is still subject to regulatory approval, is slated to close in early 2020.

"Whether it's getting a ride, ordering food from your favorite restaurant, or soon, getting groceries delivered, we want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement

Originally founded as a black car service in 2009, Uber has morphed into a multi-service platform offering up everything from Uber Eats restaurant delivery to scooter and bicycle rentals. Uber also experimented with other types of on-demand delivery options in the past through a service called Uber Rush. That service shuttered last year, however.

Uber has experienced a bumpy road since becoming a public company in May. It's seen plummeting share prices, layoffs and an exodus of high-level executives and board members. With its acquisition of Cornershop, the company may be trying to capitalize on one of its better revenue-growing services: Uber Eats.

Still, on-demand delivery is a competitive space. Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless and DoorDash also do restaurant deliveries. And Instacart, Postmates and Amazon Fresh all offer grocery deliveries. In an effort to keep ahead of the pack, Uber has lost millions on subsidizing and expanding Uber Eats.

Cornershop isn't yet in the US. Mainly Latin America-based, the startup is currently in Chile, Mexico, Peru and Toronto, Canada. Both Khosrowshahi and Cornershop CEO Oskar Hjertonsson said, however, that they're planning to bring the grocery delivery service to millions more consumers through Uber's app.

"In 2015 we started Cornershop with primarily the Latin American market in mind and we couldn't be more excited to work with Uber to help us take that mission much further," Hjertonsson said in a statement. "Uber is the perfect partner as we embark on our quest to bring our unique flavor of on-demand groceries from incredible retail partners to many more countries around the world."

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