- Uber and DoorDash discussed the possibility of a merger last year, according to the Financial Times.
- SoftBank, an investor in Uber and DoorDash, reportedly urged the companies to explore a merger.
- The market for food delivery services has proven competitive, with few start-ups able to generate a profit.
Uber shares dropped slightly after the FT published its report. Shares were down about 1% late Thursday morning.
SoftBank urged Uber and DoorDash to discuss a potential merger, the FT reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions. Although conversations fell apart, the companies have not ruled out the idea of resuming talks, according to the FT.
Representatives from Uber and DoorDash declined to comment.
SoftBank has invested heavily in both companies through its Vision Fund. Last November, DoorDash raised a new round of funding that values it at close to $13 billion, after raising $600 million last May in a funding round from SoftBank and other investors.
Uber Eats has struggled to become profitable, despite seeing double-digit revenue growth year over year in Uber's most recent earnings report. Last week, Uber sold its food-delivery business in India to its competitor Zomato. Uber also exited its Eats business in South Korea last September.
The market for food delivery services has proven competitive, with Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub and others all jockeying for customers' wallets. Venture capitalists have been pouring money into start-ups like Postmates and DoorDash, but many of them have struggled to generate a profit.
Grubhub, the only profitable delivery service, is reportedly exploring strategic options, including a possible sale. Grubhub told CNBC in a statement that it's not looking to be acquired, though it "always" consults with advisors on a number of issues, including potential acquisition opportunities.