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UberRush will soon be no more, as service cannabalized business

Why it matters to you

Despite Uber's enormous popularity, that hasn't translated into profitability. Cannibalizing services like UberRush may be to blame.

Remember UberRush? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in saying, “Not really.” And now, it looks as though Uber wants to forget about UberRush, too. On May 8, Quartz reports, Uber plans to more or less shut down the courier service, or at the very least, reposition the service.

UberRush first came about in October of 2015, making its debut in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. When the service launched, Uber promised that business owners could use Uber to “get customers pretty much anything in minutes.”

But now, anything is quickly becoming, well, nothing. Last week, the embattled transportation giant sent Rush clients an email informing them that restaurants won’t be able to use the platform as of May 8.

Instead, food services are being pushed over to UberEats, an Uber spinoff dedicated to getting customers their restaurant orders. And given that restaurant delivers have generally been the bulk of Rush orders, it seems as though with the departure of restaurants, Rush will cease to exist as we know it.

“We built UberEats to specifically meet the needs and support the growth of our individual restaurant partners,” a spokeswoman for Uber said in an email. “Moving forward, we will focus UberRush on powering backend delivery logistics for merchants and enterprises such as grocery stores and florists.”

Moreover, Rush pricing will also see a bit of a shift in May. It’s unclear what that shift will look like, but perhaps they’ll depart from the current plan of a higher rate for the first mile, and a lower standard rate for each subsequent mile.

Why the shift in strategy? As one former employee told Quartz, the company found that some of these services were cannibalizing business. “We got into a situation where dinner rush would mean a lot of people were taking food deliveries, but then they weren’t driving for UberX, so it was causing surge pricing,” the person said. “We were attacking our own business.”

Uber is still reeling from multiple internal shakeups including sexual harassment allegations, the departure of several company leaders, and a rather disturbing video of CEO Travis Kalanick berating an Uber driver.

So goodbye, UberRush. We hardly knew you.