By Hanno Labuschagne for MyBroadbrand
South Africans can now use Uber Eats to have essential goods delivered to their door during the coronavirus lockdown.
In an email sent to customers on Monday 6 April, the company said it would offer a range of essential items through its delivery platform.
“From frozen meals to toiletries, household goods to vitamins – open the Uber Eats app to get the items you need delivered to your door,” Uber said in a mail.
Products and stores available
Pharmacies are listed on the Uber Eats app, offering various medicines, baby products, dental products, deodorant, soaps, shampoo and conditioner, and female sanitary products.
Other stores include butcheries, convenience stores, and even health food restaurant Krunch.
The app also states that a R0 delivery charge is charged on orders of over R50.
Uber advised customers to keep checking the app as new stores are being added daily.
Just as was the case for food delivery several days before the lockdown started, users are able to request non-contact delivery of essential goods.
This means that the order will be left outside your door, eliminating the need for physical contact between the courier and customer.
Customers can select the “Leave at door” option at checkout and add additional instructions to indicate where the courier must drop the package.
Free deliveries and rides
Uber last week pledged to provide 10 million free rides and deliveries to essential workers and vulnerable people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said the services will be available to health care workers, the elderly, and others who require assistance. It said “any organisation, healthcare provider, or governmental entity is eligible”.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed to MyBroadband that it will be running the offer in South Africa as well.
“This is a global commitment that applies to all countries where Uber and/or Uber Eats operate. We don’t have a specific number for a specific country. We’re calling on food banks, hospitals and other organisations to reach out to us if they need support.”
Organisations seeking support with rides or food deliveries can contact Uber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Milly Vincent for Mail Online
Uber Eats has unveiled its newest drones which will be used to deliver food in San Diego, California, next year.
The new drones feature ‘innovative rotating wings with six rotors’ – a design that has previously only been featured in flying car prototypes.
Uber Eats said it believes the rotating wings will help to avoid food spillages, as the design enables a smoother transition between vertical takeoff and forward flight.
The rotors will be positioned vertically for takeoff and landing, but move into a forward position ‘for increased speed and efficiency during cruise flight’, reports The Verge.
NASA veteran Mark Moore designed similar rotors for the company’s flying-taxi prototype which is also part of the companies Uber Elevate project – to take its services to the sky.
Test flights will be carried out next year in time for a commercial launch in 2023, reports The verge.
The Federal Aviation Administration gave Uber permission to test drone delivery in San Diego, with a cruising altitude of below 400 feet – to comply with drone regulations.
According to Uber the drone will be able to load and deliver a meal for two in just eight minutes – and will only be able to fly 12 miles to make a delivery.
It is also expected to be able to hover in up to 30 mph wind speeds, reports The Verge.
Other delivery companies have also tried their hands at the niche market with Alphabet Wing, partnering with FedEx and owned by Google’s parent company, deploying its first drones in Virginia last week, reports The Verge.
By Zeenat Vallie for IOL
Uber Eats has today announced that it acquired South African restaurant technology company owned by venture capital firm Knife Capital, orderTalk.
This acquisition is a major step for Uber Eats which will be able to streamline workflows by directly integrating with leading point of sale (POS) systems.
Knife Capital which leads a business model that sells off companies has sold orderTalk in order to secure significant returns.
“An exit is part of the standard business model for any VC. We invest with the intention to secure significant returns for our entrepreneurs and investors and trade sales are the most common way to generate such returns. The time was right and so was the offer by Uber. It therefore made sense to exit,” says Knife Capital.
orderTalk which is the original provider of online ordering systems for restaurants worldwide, utilises proprietary remote ordering software including mobile and social media applications.
The start-up, which was founded by Hilton Keats in 1998 was backed by an online ordering software development partnership with a United States restaurant chain.
In 2004, lawyer Patrick Eldon joined the group and opened its Cape Town office a year later.
orderTalk then received a R9 million investment in 2008 from Knife Capital which is owned by internet billionaire, Mark Shuttleworth to scale the business internationally.
“Raising capital by way of the investment made by HBD provided enormous value, not only in tangible but also intangible terms. The strategic support, mentoring, advice and hands-on assistance received from HBD and Knife Capital
over the years of the investment have been invaluable”, said CEO of orderTalk, Patrick Eldon.
Although Knife Capital said that they would love to disclose the sale of the acquisition, for strategic reasons from Uber’s side: ‘Terms of the deal were not disclosed’.
“Since they are the main player in this acquisition and not to compromise orderTalk’s new path/ partnership, we respect that and choose not to disclose anything that is not in the public domain”, said Knife Capital.
Meanwhile, the Uber Eats business which works with over 100 000 restaurants in 200 cities in 35 countries said that POS integration on a large scale is challenging. This is the reason they acquired orderTalk.
According to Uber Eats head of business development, Liz Meyerdirk, this acquisition will give rise to greater efficiency and essentially less errors that arise with manual labour and to streamline workflow.
“With orderTalk’s engineering talent and the group of people that we’re acquiring, we’ll be able to supercharge our own point of sale integration strategy,” said Meyerdirk.