Read the letter Deliveroo CEO Will Shu wrote about the $7 billion food delivery firm going public: ‘I never set out to be a founder’

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu

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Deliveroo, the $7 billion UK food delivery firm backed by Amazon, has confirmed it will go public on the London Stock Exchange this year.

Insider previously reported that the firm was targeting an April listing in London, with a potential valuation of $10 billion. You can read more about the listing and Deliveroo’s financials here.

Deliveroo’s listing is a coup for the UK, which boasts few multibillion-dollar tech startups compared to the US and even fewer that choose to go public domestically.

Deliveroo’s cofounder and CEO, Will Shu, wrote a letter to accompany the firm’s announcement on Monday. In it, he said he had never been obsessed with startups, but was “obsessed” by one idea — making takeaway food better.

Insider has previously reported how US-born Shu, moving to London from New York with Morgan Stanley, became frustrated at the low quality of food available near his offices and came up with the idea of Deliveroo.

Founded in 2013, Deliveroo offers on-demand food delivery from partner restaurants on its app, with its network of delivery riders ferrying takeaway out to customers.

Shu wrote: “I had one idea. One idea born out of personal frustration. An idea that I was fanatically obsessed with: I wanted to get great food delivered from amazing London restaurants.”

Shu also wrote that Deliveroo plans to hand £10,000 ($14,000) to an unspecified number of its “hardest working” delivery riders. These riders are not employed by Deliveroo, but are independent contractors who work flexibly and are not entitled to the minimum wage, or holiday pay.

Read the letter in full below:

“I never set out to be a founder or a CEO. I was never into startups, I didn’t read TechCrunch. I’m not one of those Silicon Valley types with a million ideas. I had one idea. One idea born out of personal frustration. An idea that I was fanatically obsessed with: I wanted to get great food delivered from amazing London restaurants.

“At the end of the day, I started the business because I wanted something better than what was available to me. At the core, I am a customer. And that is how I will always view the world: through the lens of our customers — our riders, our restaurant & grocery merchants and our end consumers.

“I was looking through my first ever pitch deck from 2013 for inspiration when writing this letter. Today, the business is so, so much bigger than I ever would have thought possible then. We are building delivery-only kitchens, delivering groceries, building tools for restaurants to take them into the digital age — things I would not have been able to contemplate back then. Yet we truly believe we are still getting started. Our ambitions have increased as we start to truly understand and execute on the opportunity in front of us in online food. But this is also the way I will always view the world: we are all about food.

“So a lot has changed, but two very important things haven’t. First, we are customer-obsessed. And second, we are all about food. And if there are two principles that govern us here, it’s these.

“Today we operate in 12 markets right across the world. 115,000 food merchants, over 100,000 riders, millions of consumers. Every single month, every single year, we focused on getting better — sometimes incrementally and sometimes by leaps and bounds — focusing on great food and being customer-obsessed. But the last 12 months were different.

“I was sad to see many of our partners struggle — restaurants owners I’ve known for years face closure and ruin — all due to some terrible virus. So we took action to help. We reached out, brought new technology to them, guided them through the new rules so we all stayed safe, provided more Editions kitchens, and made sure that they could get their food to their customers. Together, we delivered almost a million meals to frontline NHS staff. It made me realise how far we had come. All of us working together — restaurants, riders, consumers and Deliveroo — working as one community.

“Now we take the next big step in our journey by allowing everyone to have a share in our future. That’s why we are planning to take Deliveroo public here in London, the city where it all started — and we plan to offer our customers across the UK the chance to own a part of the business.

“We are proud to be enabling our customers to participate in a future float and have the chance to buy shares. Your loyalty and custom has helped build our business. I want you to have a chance to share in our future.

“I also want to say ‘thank you’ to those who have been with me on this journey, the riders, restaurants and grocers. We intend to create a fund to support thousands of our partner restaurants and grocers to rebuild their businesses after the pandemic and reach more customers, so they remain cornerstones of our neighbourhoods. And for our longest serving and hardest working riders — who have helped us to build this business — we intend to make individual payments of up to £10,000.

“Serving our restaurants, our grocery partners, our riders and of course our end consumers is what we’re all about. All working together in the service of great food. That will never change. But how we do it will change. Join us on the journey.

Will Shu”

SEE ALSO: $7 billion, Amazon-backed Deliveroo announces its IPO and narrowing losses of $309 million for 2020

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