Ride hailing giant Uber is in early talks to buy food delivery competitor Deliveroo, according to reports.
The acquisition would drive forward Uber's own food delivery service, which it operates through the Uber Eats app and launched in London in 2016.
The value of the deal is not known, and reports suggest talks could fall apart and Deliveroo and its investors are reluctant to relinquish the company’s independence, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.
Founded in 2013 London-based Deliveroo is one of Europe's biggest start-ups and the acquisition offer would need to be considerably higher than the company’s current valuation, the report added.
The start-up was valued at more than $2bn (£1.5m) last year after raising $98m from private investors.
In July Deliveroo, which also competes with companies such as Just Eat, did not rule out an initial public offering, but said that it was not in a hurry to float.
Over the last five years the company has expanded into 11 other countries, offering restaurant food deliveries in more than 100 cities, and plans to enter new markets soon.
The latest available company accounts for Deliveroo show that that revenue increased by 611 per cent to £129m in the year ended 31 December 2016.
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has reportedly made the company's food delivery arm a priority ahead of a planned initial public offering in the second half of next year.
The San Francisco based company has a presence in 30 countries and 200 cities around the world.