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Deliveroo considers stockmarket flotation after pandemic year in which it expanded delivery on demand to grocers including Aldi and the Co-op

Grocers and delivery apps alike are now focused on faster fulfilment. Image courtesy of Aldi/Deliveroo

Deliveroo – the on-demand food business that has expanded from delivering takeaways to delivering online groceries and related items for businesses from Aldi and the Co-op to Lloyds Pharmacy during the Covid-19 pandemic – says today it is considering a stockmarket flotation. 

Deliveroo says it aims to be the “platform that people turn to whoever they think abut food”. It says it has opened up choice and fast delivery times for both restaurants and grocers that have never offered on-demand deliveries before. Grocers from the Co-op to Aldi have used Deliveroo to enable same-day deliveries over the last year, as more shoppers turned online to buy groceries during the pandemic. 

The planned flotation follows a year in which the Deliveroo platform handled transactions worth £4.1bn in 2020, 64.3% up on the £2.5bn it turned over in the previous year. Underlying gross profit grew by 89.5% to £357.5m, while its underlying losses narrowed to £223.7m from £317.3m the previous year. The company says it is now “one of the few companies in the world that is able to operate on-demand logistics at scale, with in-house, expert capabilities and understanding of our marketplace,” thanks to the technology it has built in-house. 

Deliveroo follows a strategy of building up its customer proposition in local neighbourhoods within the biggest markets in the countries it serves, before reinvesting profits to expand across the rest of the country. 

Deliveroo founder and chief executive Will Shu says: “Serving our restaurants, our grocery partners, our riders and of course our end consumers is what we’re all about. All working together in the service of great food. That will never change. But how we do it will change.”

UK-based customers with a Deliveroo account will be able to apply for shares in the company, while the company also says it plans to create a fund to help thousands of partner restaurants and grocers rebuild their businesses after the pandemic. Long-term riders are also in line for payments.

Deliveroo currently operates in 12 markets around the world, working with 115,000 food merchants and more than 100,000 riders to serve more than 6m customers. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain last month reached the Court of Appeal with its challenge to a 2018 High Court ruling that upheld a decision from the Central Arbitration committee that Deliveroo riders could not form a collective bargaining unit because they were self-employed. 

Deliveroo is one of two technology companies working with ecommerce and multichannel retailers with news today on potential stockmarket flotations.

Reviews business Trustpilot has today confirmed that it would take the step. Peter Holten Mühlmann, chief executive of Trustpilot, says: “I am very pleased to confirm Trustpilot’s intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.  Since 2007 we have been guided by a vision to become a universal symbol of trust, bringing businesses and consumers together to foster trust and inspire collaboration. 

“In that time we have created a technology-led platform with a business model able to support rapid growth and sustain attractive unit economics. Becoming a listed company is the natural next step for us to continue this progress and I am delighted with the quality of institutional support we have received.”

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