(Bloomberg) — U.K. food-delivery startup Deliveroo has begun preliminary talks to explore an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.
The Amazon.com Inc.-backed company has had discussions with potential advisers regarding the possibility of an IPO in 2021, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. No final decisions have been made and Deliveroo may still decide against going ahead with listing plans, they said.
A representative for Deliveroo declined to comment.
Food delivery companies have been expanding rapidly, with rivals Just Eat Takeaway.com NV and Delivery Hero SE announcing acquisitions this year. U.K. regulators cleared Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo in August after a probe that lasted almost a year and froze the majority of a $575 million capital injection.
Although initially struggling at the start of the lockdown, Deliveroo got a boost as the year went on as customers avoided supermarkets and ordered takeout meals and groceries. Deliveroo was valued at more than $2 billion in 2017, but didn’t reveal a valuation after its latest investment round in May 2019. Deliveroo previously said sales from its food-delivery business grew 72% in 2018, reaching 476 million pounds ($607 million) for the year.
Launched in 2013, Deliveroo has become one of the U.K.’s main food delivery companies, alongside Uber Eats and Just Eat Takeaway. These companies have been expanding into grocery delivery, with Waitrose and Deliveroo recently teaming up to offer quick deliveries of select goods.
Uber Eats and Deliveroo are also battling for so-called virtual restaurants, where eateries lease kitchen space to prepare food for couriers. With no dining rooms or wait staff, these outfits pop up where food delivery companies expect demand, and sell their meals through Uber Eats or Deliveroo’s app.