A former finance chief of Worldpay is being lined up to bolster the boardroom of Deliveroo as the food delivery app heads towards a blockbuster London flotation.
Sky News has learnt that Rick Medlock is to join Deliveroo as a non-executive director and chair of its audit committee.
His appointment provides a further indication of the company’s plan to pursue a public listing in the coming months.
Sources said on Friday that Deliveroo had also been approaching candidates for its chairmanship.
Mr Medlock will add a wealth of public company experience to the tech company’s board: he is a non-executive director of Smith & Nephew, the medical devices maker, and has chaired audit committees at Sophos, a provider of cybersecurity services, and Thus, the telecommunications group.
In recent weeks, Deliveroo has been appointing bankers to help steer it through the biggest financial milestone since it was launched in 2013.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are working with the company, with other investment banks expected to be added ahead of an initial public offering.
City insiders say the company, which was founded by Will Shu, its chief executive, is drawing up plans to list as early as the first quarter of 2021.
A flotation would see the launch of public trading for shares in one of Britain’s best-known technology ‘unicorns’ – companies worth at least $1bn.
Deliveroo is likely to be a beneficiary of the further month-long lockdown in England as consumers turn to takeaway food services, but had been forced to adapt its model in different countries amid rapidly changing restrictions imposed by governments throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
The company said recently that it would donate hundreds of thousands of free meals to the NHS, repeating an initiative it launched earlier in the year.
Deliveroo had previously signalled that it would add 15,000 riders to its fleet by the end of year, and has launched a number of additional services such as on-demand convenience and grocery partnerships with Waitrose, Morrisons and the Co-op.
Its preparations for going public contrast with the company’s frustration as it awaited approval earlier this year from competition regulators for a major investment from Amazon.
The deal was eventually cleared after Deliveroo warned that its survival prospects were in doubt as a standalone company.
Deliveroo now has nearly 45,000 restaurants on its platform in the UK, and it has recently started allowing customers to reward riders after their delivery has arrived.
It has also announced the launch of a service called Brought to you by Deliveroo, which will allow customers to order food from restaurants’ websites, but with the tech company fulfilling the orders’ delivery.
Deliveroo’s brighter prospects come amid a torrid period for many of its restaurant partners, with hospitality chiefs warning that hundreds of thousands of jobs will disappear from the sector without further state support.
The company declined to comment on Mr Medlock’s appointment.