Uber is dipping its toe back into the goods-delivery game. The move is a bid to boost revenue in a time where people are using its existing ride-hailing and food-ordering services less and less, due to the coronavirus outbreak. As the Financial Times reports, the company will be trailing two new initiatives, Direct and Connect, in an offering that echoes the goods delivery service it originally launched in 2015 and subsequently canned in 2018, due to lack of demand.
Uber Direct is essentially a refreshed take on its previous delivery service — the platform will be open to retailers and other businesses that want to get goods to customers ASAP. Initial partners will include New York’s pharmacy brand Cabinet, Australian pet food supplier Pet Barn and Portugal’s postal service, CTT. Uber Direct will also be used to deliver medication in South Africa in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.