Uber, GoPuff team up to boost essential item deliveries

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermi

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc has entered into a partnership with SoftBank backed delivery start-up GoPuff to expand the delivery of essential items in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies said on Tuesday.

The pandemic hit Uber's ride-hailing services as it restricted outdoor movements, pushing the company to focus on its delivery business.

GoPuff, which recently acquired liquor store chain BevMo!, delivers items such as food, alcohol and medicines in more than 650 U.S. cities.

Uber has also made inroads into the liquor delivery market with its acquisition of the on-demand alcohol platform Drizly in February. (https://reut.rs/3uuRQCE)

Earlier in March, Philadelphia-based GoPuff raised $1.15 billion in a new funding round from investors including SoftBank Group Corp, bringing its valuation to $8.9 billion.

Uber, which plans to report first-quarter results on Wednesday, said the new in-app collaboration is expected to launch in more than 95 U.S. cities this June.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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