On-demand delivery is painfully difficult. The margins are usually razor thin, each market is wildly different, and the business can be largely dependent on retailers’ willingness to jump into the digital age.
In the five years since it’s launched, DoorDash has expanded to hundreds of markets in the U.S. The company, which offers delivery services for restaurants, liquor stores, and even gadget retailers like b8ta, has also penned partnerships with big retailers like Walmart for grocery delivery.
In fact, DoorDash has raised more than $700 million and has achieved unicorn status in its relatively short life.
Much of that success can be attributed to founder and CEO Tony Xu. The son of immigrants, Xu worked in his parents’ restaurant before heading off to Stanford. He then worked at McKinsey, eBay, and Square before bringing his knowledge and experience into the entrepreneurial realm.
This isn’t the first time we’ve hung out with Xu on the Disrupt stage. In 2016, Xu’s biggest focus was balance.
“Hardest part is keeping everything in balance,” he said. “There’s a couple dimensions to this: how do you invest the company’s capital effectively; how do you best serve the marketplace of three audiences, consumers/merchants/dashers; and how do you keep that in check. If you have too many of one, it’s a challenge, and we have the unique challenge where we have to solve product market fit across three audiences.”
While that challenge will always be a factor in DoorDash’s business, we’re particularly interested to hear about the company’s move into the evolving world of grocery delivery. There is plenty to discuss with Xu, and we hope you will join us at the conference, which runs September 5 to September 7.