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Uber Shuts Down Drizly Just Three Years After Pricey Purchase

The business was acquired in 2021 for $1.1 billion, but times have changed since the pandemic’s heyday for delivery.

Photo of Uber Eats delivery driver
Photo by Zhuo Cheng You via Unsplash

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It’s last call for Drizly.

Uber has reportedly decided to shut down its Drizly alcohol service, just three years after shelling out $1.1 billion for the company. Axios reported Sunday that Uber was closing the business and would instead focus, according to Uber executive Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, on “our core Uber Eats strategy of helping consumers get almost anything — from food to groceries to alcohol — on a single app.” 

Mismatch

Gore-Coty’s quote seems to imply a vibe that Axios also noted: that the synergy between Uber and Drizly wasn’t completely intuitive, given that Drizly was essentially an ordering platform and didn’t have its own delivery workers. That lack of synergy also was brought to home last April, when Drizly announced it was cutting 100 jobs as part of its integration into Uber.

On the other hand, it’s easy to forget how differently the world looked in 2021 — we weren’t leaving the house amid a global pandemic, bars and restaurants were either closed or struggling to stay open, and, well, people were definitely drinking more, making Drizly an understandable attraction, albeit an expensive one.

Now, however, with the US mostly done paying attention to Covid, an independently branded alcohol delivery service seems somewhat superfluous to what Uber is already doing with its own brand.

Uber may also see the new year as a time to shore up its core rideshare business. While Uber posted a full-year profit in 2023, its fourth-quarter revenue miss suggested a possible pullback in consumer spending. 

For Drizly, it’s somewhat of an anti-climactic end to an 11-year run for a tiny Boston startup that had serendipitous timing to become a billion-dollar company.