When early investors were pitched on Uber’s original plan for a car-service app in 2008, it wasn’t until the second-to-last slide that they heard delivery could be another moneymaker for the business. Ten years later, delivery is no longer an afterthought. According to projections from its CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber Eats is on track to deliver some $10 billion worth of food worldwide this year, up from an estimated $6 billion-plus last year. Uber takes a 30% cut and a delivery fee, then pays drivers, suggesting that Uber Eats could generate at least $1 billion in revenue this year, or an estimated 7% to 10% of the total. That means Uber Eats is already among the planet’s largest food-delivery services and ranks second in the U.S. behind rival Grubhub (likely $1 billion in 2018 revenue) and ahead of competition like Caviar, Postmates and DoorDash.
Uber could certainly use the extra calories. The money-losing San Francisco-based company was valued at some $76 billion when it last raised money, in August 2018, and bankers hope its IPO, slated for later this year, could boost that to $120 billion. The problem is, there is no way Uber’s core ride-hailing business is worth that much. Its explosive growth is showing signs of slowing, and internationally the taxi service has struggled, selling its China operations to local rival Didi Chuxing in August 2016, as well as its stakes in Southeast Asia. Uber’s self-driving-car business, once conside