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