Startups

Quick notes on the DoorDash IPO filing

Comment

doordash
Image Credits: Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Los Angeles Times Food Bowl / Getty Images

Earlier today, during an eye-popping market selloff, DoorDash announced that it has privately filed to go public. The decision to file privately will allow the high-valued startup to get its S-1 documents in good order with the SEC before showing the rest of us what it has up its sleeve.

The move to announce its private filing is more interesting and could be related to prepping demand for its shares, providing some PR-cover for backer SoftBank, which could use the assist, or, perhaps, to dampen investor excitement for rival companies, in the face of DoorDash’s implied success and maturity.

Whatever the reasons behind the timing — some of which must deal with the capital requirements of long-running cash burn — the filing is a new milestone for the on-demand and gig economies. And how well DoorDash’s filing is received, predicated in no small part on its recent financial performance, will help set sentiment for a number of other, richly backed startups.

So let’s remind ourselves of what we know about DoorDash’s financial history. This will give us a workable foundation heading into its eventual S-1, and, we presume, old-fashioned IPO. (It’s hard to imagine the cash-fired engine that is DoorDash looking toward a direct listing.) We’ll dig through its fundraising, unearth what we know about its revenue over time and turn over some data concerning its hiring efforts in recent months to better understand its IPO prep.

History

DoorDash’s fundraising history is well-known but worth recalling sequentially.

Small rounds in 2013 and 2014 led to a then-outsized $40 million check from Kleiner in 2015. A year later Sequoia led a $127 million investment, marking its second lead deal for the domestic food delivery company. Things then kept heating up, with DoorDash raising over $500 million from the Vision Fund in early 2018, along with another $250 million later that year. According to Crunchbase data, the company last year raised $1.1 billion in three chunks: a $600 million deal, a $400 million investment and $100 million more toward the end of the year.

The company has raised north of $2 billion so far.

Next, let’s collect what we’ve learned over the years regarding its revenue and profit performance. Here’s a short compendium:

It’s not a long list, to be clear. We do have, however, other scraps of data to help fill out our financial picture of the company. For example, SecondMeasure lists DoorDash’s share of the domestic “meal delivery” space at 38% in January 2020. Grubhub came in second with 31%, Uber Eats with 20% and Postmates with a little around 10%.

The company’s fundraising history implies rapid growth. What we have learned about its expansion over time confirms that its net revenue expansion has been rapid — though the firm remains expensive for its category on a multiples-basis — and expensive. That’s what I expected coming into this post, but it’s nice to have confirmation. (If you have more numbers, I’m around.)

IPO prep?

Finally today, a quick note on the company’s IPO prep, as far as we can view it externally.

When WeWork decided to delay its IPO, the market changed. Growth lost some luster, losses became more problematic, and many companies pulled back spend, cutting staff and generally tacking closer to profitability. DoorDash, a known growth-play, did not cut staff that we know of. However, the company does appear to have curtailed its hiring after the co-working liquidity debacle.

According to Thinknum Alternative Data, the company’s job posting count peaked in August and September, around the time that WeWork filed and pulled its IPO. After the IPO was yanked, job openings at DoorDash fell. Check this chart (shared with permission), showing the number of job postings at the company over time:

That, to my eye, looks like a pullback in hiring to curtail spend ahead of an IPO. With slower hiring, the firm could tighten its cost structure’s expansion, lowering losses in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020, helping it go public at a valuation that it might enjoy. I’m not sure how else to read a 50% reduction in job openings.

Alright, we now have a shared set of facts. Now we wait for the public S-1.

More TechCrunch

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender Solo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient, and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets