Uber gob­bles up Post­mates to Fu­jitsu to halve of­fice space turn up heat in food de­liv­ery in shift to re­mote work­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Michael Cog­ley By

RIDE hail­ing gi­ant Uber has agreed a $2.65bn (£2.09bn) deal to buy Post­mates in an all-stock takeover as it looks to strengthen its po­si­tion in the food de­liv­ery busi­ness.

Uber, which is un­der pres­sure as its core ride-hail­ing busi­ness reels from global lock­downs, of­fered a pre­mium of about 10pc on Post­mates’ last val­u­a­tion of $2.4bn. Post­mates in Septem­ber raised $225m in a pri­vate fundrais­ing round.

In a state­ment, Uber said that restau­rants and mer­chants would be able to con­nect with a larger con­sumer base more “eas­ily and cost-ef­fec­tively”.

The com­pany said it would keep the cus­tomer-fac­ing Post­mates app run­ning sep­a­rately.

Dara Khos­row­shahi, Uber chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the plat­forms had shared a be­lief that they could play a “hugely im­por­tant part” in lo­cal com­merce. “As more peo­ple and more restau­rants have come to use our ser­vices, Q2 book­ings on Uber Eats are up more than 100pc year on year,” Mr Khos­row­shahi said of the ac­qui­si­tion.

Post­mates op­er­ates in 4,200 US cities, de­liv­er­ing food and other prod­ucts from restau­rants and stores to cus­tomers’ doorsteps.

Founded in 2011, San Fran­cis­cobased Post­mates ac­counted for 8pc of the US meal de­liv­ery mar­ket in May, with its big­gest ri­val DoorDash lead­ing with a 44pc mar­ket share, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lyt­ics firm Sec­ond Mea­sure.

Bas­tian Lehmann, Post­mates’ co­founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said that the com­pa­nies had been “strong al­lies”.

Uber is to is­sue around 84 million shares of com­mon stock for the fully di­luted equity of Post­mates.

The com­pany hopes the deal will help in its bid to over­haul DoorDash, the US mar­ket leader when it comes to food de­liv­ery. Post­mates’ stronghold­s in the Amer­i­can south west and Los An­ge­les are be­lieved to be of value to Uber Eats. Bloomberg re­ported talks be­tween the two par­ties had been “on and off ” for around four years but moved for­ward within the last week af­ter a new ap­proach from Uber. Uber’s move comes af­ter it missed out on a deal for GrubHub, which was snapped up by Just Eat in a £5.75bn tie-up. Michael Cog­ley

TECH­NOL­OGY gi­ant Fu­jitsu has com­mit­ted to halv­ing its of­fice space in Ja­pan within the next three years to fa­cil­i­tate a “new nor­mal” for staff.

The com­pany said its 80,000 work­ers in the coun­try would ben­e­fit from flex­i­ble hours, and that work­ing from home would be­come standard prac­tice wher­ever pos­si­ble.

The changes are part of the com­pany’s Work Life Shift ini­tia­tive, which it hopes will boost in­no­va­tion and work­life bal­ance.

“For em­ploy­ees in Ja­pan, this lat­est ini­tia­tive will mark the end of the con­ven­tional no­tion of com­mut­ing to and from fixed of­fices, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously grant­ing them a higher de­gree of au­ton­omy based on the prin­ci­ple of mu­tual trust,” the busi­ness said in a state­ment.

The com­pany has also com­mit­ted to launch­ing satel­lite of­fices in ar­eas where em­ploy­ees live, and will sign up with more workspace providers.

Fu­jitsu also said it would in­tro­duce a hot desk sys­tem where em­ploy­ees were not as­signed to a fixed desk.

Flex­i­ble work­ing hours will be ex­tended to all of Fu­jitsu’s em­ploy­ees based in Ja­pan.

Do­mes­tic em­ploy­ees that have been trans­ferred away from home will re­turn and be al­lowed to han­dle their work through “telecom­mut­ing and busi­ness trips”.

The com­pany also said it would es­tab­lish a sys­tem that al­lowed em­ploy­ees to work “from lo­ca­tions far from Fu­jitsu of­fices” to sup­port those who needed to move due to per­sonal rea­sons such as “fam­ily care or the trans­fer of a spouse”.

Hub of­fices will be set up around Ja­pan with each hav­ing a ded­i­cated func- tion, such as IT, show­cases or cus­tomer col­lab­o­ra­tion.

The de­ci­sion by Fu­jitsu fol­lows a sim­i­lar dec­la­ra­tion by Twit­ter, which com­mit­ted to al­low­ing the vast ma­jor­ity of its 5,000 staff to work from home for good.

Jack Dorsey, Twit­ter’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, also in­tends to al­low staff at his pay­ments gi­ant Square to work re­motely af­ter Covid-19.

Face­book and Google have yet to go as far, in­stead al­low­ing em­ploy­ees to work from home for at least the rest of the year.

Mark Zucker­berg, the Face­book boss, pre­vi­ously said that as much as half of its em­ploy­ees could be re­mote within the next five to 10 years.

Sim­i­larly, cor­po­rate mes­sag­ing app Slack has also sug­gested that its em­ploy­ees may be al­lowed to work re­motely for good.

Dara Khos­row­shahi, the Uber chief ex­ec­u­tive, said its Uber Eats book­ings had risen by 100pc

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