Tech: Amazon held acquisition talks with food delivery firm Deliveroo — twice (AMZN)

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Uber has reportedly held early talks with Deliveroo as it attempts to build out its take-out delivery service — but it's not the only company to have expressed interest. Amazon, too, held acquisition talks with Deliveroo, not once but twice.

  • Amazon has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring UK food delivery startup Deliveroo twice.
  • The news comes after a report that Bloomberg has also been in early talks for the company.
  • Deliveroo is a major player in the space, and would give either company's takeout delivery plans a significant boost in cities around the world — if it agreed to sell.

It sounds like Uber isn't the only major tech firm hungry for Deliveroo.

According to a report from The Telegraph published Monday, Amazon has expressed interest in acquiring the London-based food delivery startup twice in the past, and had made "preliminary approaches."

The Telegraph reports that the most recent talks between Amazon and Deliveroo were nine months ago, and the two firms also spoke before Amazon launched its own take-out delivery service.

The news comes after a report from Bloomberg on Friday that Uber, the Silicon Valley ride-hailing firm, has also engaged in early talks to try and buy Deliveroo.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider. Deliveroo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Deliveroo is one of Europe's biggest startup success stories. Founded in 2013 by Americans Will Shu and Greg Orlowski, Deliveroo enlists contract employees as couriers, who deliver food from local restaurants in some 200 cities all over the UK, the European Union, Asia, and Australia.

Last year, Deliveroo raised $482 million in venture funding, in a deal valuing the company at around $2 billion. According to the Bloomberg report, Deliveroo would not be interested in selling for any price that's not "considerably higher" than its current valuation.

The startup is also one of the chief international rivals to UberEats, the ride-hailing giant's own food-delivery service. Under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has redoubled its efforts around food delivery ahead of a planned 2019 IPO.

On the subject of IPOs, Deliveroo's Shu said earlier this year that a debut on the public markets was not in the cards for his startup. However, rumors have persisted that Deliveroo has — or, perhaps, had — IPO ambitions. At the time of its 2017 fundraise, Deliveroo was operating at gross margins of 0.7%; a figure that some pundits thought was too small. According to The Telegraph, the company has now pushed its plans for an IPO from 2019 to 2020.

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