Deliveroo is poised to fire a formal starting gun on a blockbuster stock market flotation early next month, making it the first in a string of British technology ‘unicorns’ to go public in 2021.
Sky News has learnt that the food delivery app and its advisers have pencilled in March 8 to publish an expected intention to float announcement, meaning shares in Deliveroo could start trading just weeks later.
Insiders at Deliveroo cautioned that 8 March was not yet a definitive date and the timetable for one of the year’s most prominent listings remained subject to change.
The deal will bring to the public markets a company that has become one of Britain’s most valuable tech businesses, with a likely market value of up to £7.5bn.
Deliveroo, run by founder Will Shu, has appointed half a dozen investment banks to work on the flotation.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan will lead the company’s stock market debut.
News of the prospective announcement date comes just weeks after Deliveroo raised a further $180m from investors.
Sky News previously reported that the surge in revenues seen by Deliveroo since the start of the coronavirus pandemic would prompt a sharp upward revision in its advisers’ expectations of its valuation.
The company recently announced plans to expand into a further 100 towns and cities across the UK, enabling it to reach an additional four million people.
It has appointed Claudia Arney, a former Premier League and Ocado director, as its chair, and Next’s chief executive, Lord Wolfson, as an independent director.
The float will come after Lord Hill, the former EU commissioner, completes a review of London’s listings regime with the objective of attracting high-growth technology companies to the City.
The Amazon-backed company is one of Britain’s best-known technology ‘unicorns’ – companies worth at least $1bn.
Amazon’s investment – following a lengthy competition inquiry – as part of a $575m fundraising has prompted Deliveroo to turn its attention towards further innovation in the fight against rivals Uber Eats and Just Eat Takeaway.com.
A bumper flotation will provide liquidity to many of Deliveroo’s longest-standing shareholders, with notable names on its investor register including the private equity firm Bridgepoint and the institutional investors Fidelity and T Rowe Price.
Deliveroo now has around 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.
Deliveroo declined to comment on the timetable for its IPO.