Deliveroo chief rules out sale amid Uber bid rumors

October 05, 2018 14:56
Deliveroo’s co-founder and CEO Will Shu said his company is not for sale. The food delivery platform has reportedly been approached by Uber and Amazon. Photo: HKEJ

Rumors spread recently that Uber was in talks to buy Deliveroo, the British online food delivery service. But in an interview with Business Insider, Deliveroo’s co-founder and CEO Will Shu had firmly said that his company “is not for sale”.

Deliveroo, rival to Uber’s takeaway business Uber Eats, has expanded rapidly to cover more than 200 cities on four continents, and was recently valued at more than US$2 billion.

Uber’s bid would mark a major attempt by the ride-hailing giant to dominate the food-delivery business in Europe.

Online retail behemoth Amazon is also said to have held talks to acquire Deliveroo, The Telegraph has reported.

But in the Business Insider interview, Shu scoffed at such talk, saying that he doesn't comment on rumors.

“Deliveroo is the fastest-growing company in Europe, so people love to chat about us,” he added.

Bloomberg has also reported about Uber's alleged bid for the food delivery company, but said the talks might fall apart because Deliveroo insisted on remaining independent following the deal. Sources also suggested that Deliveroo would not sell for less than US$6 billion.

Being at the forefront of the boom in the gig economy, Deliveroo is one of Europe’s biggest startups.

Last year, it raised about US$480 million from investors that include Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price.

The company is reportedly considering a stock market float. The Times reported in February that it had hired PwC consultants to evaluate “strategic options”, including a listing either in London or New York in the “next 12 to 18 months”.

However, an initial public offering appears remote in the short term.  “[IPO] is not what we are focused on right now,” Shu said in the interview.

Last year, the company unveiled “Deliveroo Editions”, which are pop-up kitchens for established restaurants dedicated to serving Deliveroo orders, a move that helps Deliveroo establish closer collaboration with restaurant partners.

Shu said the service is about “putting us at the heart of the business journey of new restaurants, where they go from startup to established brands, helping them take the next big step expanding”.

On the end goal of Editions, Shu said: “Our ambition is to become the definitive food brand – that means transcending customer perceptions from just a food delivery company."

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