This morning, Will Shu took Deliveroo public on the London Stock Exchange in what is the largest IPO in London in almost a decade. There is nice symmetry to Deliveroo making its public debut in London, where Will started the business back in 2013, and today marks the start of a new chapter for Deliveroo and for tech listings in London.
Going public is never just a one-day event or the finish line for a business - it sets a company up for the future. With Deliveroo’s extraordinary growth to date, strong unit economics, and £1 billion of new funding - it has an incredibly exciting future ahead.
Focused and passionate from the start
Looking back at our initial investment memo from 2014, it’s funny to reflect on where we posed the potential risk - “Is London a false positive?”. With Deliveroo now operating in 12 markets globally, with 115K restaurants and grocers, more than 100K riders, and millions of consumers - all just eight years after launch - we can confidently cross that one off the list :).
Partnering with companies at the earliest stages, our conviction is heavily weighted on founder-market fit. From the outset, Will’s passion - fanaticism even - for the food industry was apparent. It’s well documented that Will was the first Deliveroo rider when the company was getting started; but what many people probably don’t realise is that Will was still doing deliveries just a few weeks ago. And you may be asking why the CEO of a company at this scale, preparing to go public, continues to do food deliveries? It’s because Will is still customer-obsessed, passionate about great food and cares about the experience that every constituent in his three-sided marketplace - restaurants and grocers, riders and consumers - has with Deliveroo. It’s this passion and clear vision, coupled with an insane amount of drive, that ensured Deliveroo would become synonymous with food delivery and great food experiences today. I’m sure many of you can relate to no longer saying “let’s get [Italian/Chinese/Indian/insert cuisine here]”, but instead “let’s get Deliveroo” - a testament to how ingrained the company has become in our daily habits in such a short space of time.
Over the eight years since Deliveroo’s launch, Will and the team have pioneered on-demand food delivery via the three-sided marketplace. They’ve ensured the right technology and processes provide a seamless experience that delights hungry consumers and introduces them to new eating experiences. Restaurants and grocers have access to new revenue streams and innovative models like Editions (delivery-only kitchens) and Signature (white-label delivery). And riders have opportunities to work flexibly alongside security in the form of, for example, free insurance. But what’s really exciting isn’t what the Deliveroo team has pioneered and built so far - or even the company’s rapid growth - it’s the opportunity that lies ahead.
Bringing the food category online represents a huge market opportunity worldwide, and we’ve seen dramatic acceleration in adoption across our global food portfolio - from goPuff (convenient store delivery in the US) to Swiggy (food delivery in India) - and beyond.
As Will and the Deliveroo team hit today’s milestone, we’re going to echo Will’s words from his founder’s letter: “we truly believe we are still getting started”. We couldn’t be more excited to see what’s next!