Deliveroo to Raise $1.4 Billion in IPO After Lockdown Surge


Food-delivery company Deliveroo is seeking to raise 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in a London stock market listing, buoyed by a rise in demand for its services during lockdowns.

Besides the 1 billion pounds of new stock, some existing investors plan to sell shares, Deliveroo said in a statement Monday, without providing details. Deliveroo, whose backers include Inc., was valued at more than $7 billion in a January funding round.

Deliveroo will list with a dual-class share structure that will give founder and Chief Executive Officer Will Shu outsized voting rights for three years. As such, the stock is confined to the London Stock Exchange’s standard segment and can’t be included in benchmark indexes such as the FTSE 100, despite its expected size.

The sale is part of a global surge in equity capital markets as the economy rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic thanks to ultra-low interest rates, government stimulus and the arrival of vaccines. The U.K. is headed for its biggest-ever first quarter for initial public offerings.

Shares of lockdown winners have taken a hit in recent months, though, amid growing optimism that the pandemic will soon recede. Among food-delivery companies, Just Eat NV has fallen 22% from its October high, while Delivery Hero SE is down 28% from a January peak. InPost SA, which operates automated parcel lockers for deliveries, has given up all its gains since surging in its Amsterdam debut in late January.

London-based Deliveroo’s planned offering follows a government-backed report this month that made a slew of recommendations to reform U.K. listing rules. The proposals include allowing dual-class share structures on the premium segment of the LSE, but it could be months before these are implemented.

After initially struggling at the start of lockdowns, Deliveroo got a boost as restaurants stopped providing service indoors, pushing more and more customers to order takeout meals and groceries.

The U.K. startup will be keen to replicate the success of U.S. peer DoorDash Inc., which surged 86% in its December trading debut. Both companies face increasing competition from rivals such as Uber Technologies Inc., with vaccine rollouts also likely to lead to a drop in at-home dining in coming months.

Covid has accelerated the transition to online food ordering, but changed consumer behavior will drive growth even after curbs are eased, Shu said in an interview last week after the company announced its expected intention to float. The company’s gross transaction value — the total amount of transactions processed on its platform — rose 64% to 4.1 billion pounds in 2020.

Lockdown gains aside, margins in the sector remain thin, prompting a wave of consolidation. U.S.-based Grubhub Inc. agreed in June to be taken over by Just Eat for $7.3 billion, while Uber struck a deal in July to buy Postmates Inc. for $2.65 billion.

Deliveroo has raised 1.3 billion pounds in eight equity funding rounds through January, the company said last week in its registration document. Its shareholders include Amazon with a 16% stake, venture capital firms DST Global and Index Ventures with about 10% each and U.S. mutual-fund company T. Rowe Price Group Inc. with 8.1%.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators on the offering, while Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Jefferies and Numis Securities Ltd. are joint bookrunners.