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Uber to Acquire Postmates; Starling Launches USD Business Accounts

uber

The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Uber to acquire Postmates; Starling launches USD business accounts; and Green fundraising on Seedrs.

Uber to acquire Postmates

Uber is acquiring the food delivery service Postmates in a USD$2.65bn, all-stock deal.  It plans to run the business alongside its own food delivery business, Uber Eats, keeping the Postmates app running while merging some of the tech and delivery operations at the back end — for example, by having drivers delivering orders for both businesses.

The deal confirms reports that emerged last week, and got re-reported last night with more financial detail, that Postmates and Uber were in negotiations. That deal itself sprung up in the wake of Uber failing to acquire another competitor, Grubhub, which was instead acquired by Europe’s takeout behemoth Just Eat Takeaway for USD$7.3bn.

Uber in its news announcement described Postmates as “highly complementary” to Uber Eats, citing the two companies’ differing geographic focuses and target demographics and noting that Postmates has strong relationships with small- and medium-sized restaurants and other businesses that are loyal to the Postmates brand, which covers not only food but delivery of other items, too.

Starling launches USD business accounts

Dollars are coming to Starling Bank with the launch of its US dollar business account, to help SMEs trading both sides of the Atlantic. 

Starling

The new account means businesses can hold, send and receive dollars, as well as pay directly with dollars on their Starling debit card. This marks the second foreign currency account after Starling launched a similar Euro account in October 2019, but while the Euro account cost £2/month this new Dollar account comes in a little higher at £5/month. 

Payments into the new account will be made at the exchange rate plus a 0.4% fee, the same as Starling’s Euro account.

The bank also took its Business Toolkit out of beta today, offering the £7/month subscription for SMEs with additional features like sending and tracking invoices, automating expenses and connecting with HMRC to submit VAT returns. To kick-start the Toolkit it will be free for three months for businesses who sign up before 31 July.

Green fundraising on Seedrs

North East based, tech-focused energy supplier Green is fundraising on Seedrs. The company has already entered overfunding and is currently at £175k – 146% of its initial £125k target.

Green is aiming to take the best bits from the challenger banks – a seamless tech experience, excellent customer support and fair, transparent pricing – and bring it to energy supply. Their offering will consist of 100% green electricity. 

Within 12 months of launching, Green has grown to over 40,000 members with strong month-on-month growth. In May alone the business made £2.7m in revenue. 

The business invests heavily on their tailored marketing campaigns to drive high converters to the site whether that is via ads on Google/Bing/Social Media or their own organic strategy. 

The funding will be used to bring Green’s offering to the business and prepayment side utilising smart technology and apps. This would include the operational infrastructure, technology implementations and support channels. Green is also looking to boost tailored marketing efforts. 

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