DoorDash could file for an IPO as soon as the fourth quarter of 2020, according to “sources familiar with the matter” who spoke to Bloomberg.
The third-party delivery company is reportedly “taking steps” to go public in November or December of this year through a traditional IPO, rather than a direct listing, which the company had considered earlier this year.
The potential IPO comes at a time when the third-party food delivery sector is seeing a steady stream of mergers and acquisitions, from Just Eat Takeaway.com buying up Grubhub to the more recent deal from Uber to snap up Postmates for $2.65 billion.
DoorDash itself has largely stayed out of that M&A activity. The company acquired Caviar for $400 million about a year ago. Since then, DoorDash has been largely focused on diversifying its business. It launched its first ghost kitchen facility in October 2019. And since the start of the pandemic, DoorDash has teamed up with convenience stores like 7-Eleven, launched its own “ghost convenience store,” and, just last week, started an on-demand delivery [— LINK — ] service for groceries.
Those moves make sense in light of the fact that the restaurant industry has been one of the hardest-hit business types by the pandemic. Demand for third-party delivery may be up, but many restaurants — both independents and large chains — are closing down, which means DoorDash may need new lines of business to have a shot of being profitable (which, according to Bloomberg, it is not).
Like other restaurant third-party delivery companies, DoorDash is also navigating a substantial amount of controversy. In April, DoorDash, Grubhub, and others were the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging third-party delivery companies used their market power to push restaurant prices higher during the pandemic. In June, the San Francisco DA sued DoorDash over worker misclassification, and if a ballot measure that would loosen restrictions over gig worker classification in California does not pass in November, DoorDash (and others) will face another threat to its chances for profitability. That’s to say nothing of commission fee caps, much-maligned tipping policies, and other gripes a growing number of the general public has against third-party delivery companies.
DoorDash was last valued at nearly $16 billion and, throughout the pandemic, has been an “essential service” more and more folks are using as the future of restaurant dining rooms remains uncertain.
Like everything else these days, the timeline for the company’s IPO could change based on, among other factors, the trajectory of the pandemic.