Why Drizly never delivered

On February 2, 2021, rideshare and delivery behemoth Uber announced its acquisition of Drizly in a USD 1.1 billion deal. At the end of this month, barely three years later, Uber will be shutting down the Boston-based startup, marking the end of the largest dedicated online alcohol marketplace in the United States. Why did Uber so abruptly and unceremoniously give up on their billion-dollar acquisition? And what does this mean for the future of online alcohol sales in the United States?

To figure out what went wrong, it’s important to understand why Uber bought Drizly in the first place and why the synergies they hoped to achieve with the acquisition never materialized.