News & Analysis

Deliveroo on the upperoo: IPO embarrassment a distant memory

Andrew Saks, Thursday, 8 July 2021

Stock market entries by large companies with huge presence and equally massive revenues that do not go as planned are often ripe fodder for tabloid-style derision.

There is nothing that the cynical nature of the masses enjoys more than the rise of the perceived arrogant, only for the exact same perceived arrogant subject to fall on its sword in front of a mocking public.

That is pretty much how Deliveroo's Initial Public Offering (IPO) went.

Here we have a large company whose unmistakable light blue backpacks sprung up across the United Kingdom and several European and Asian countries as it cashed in on the government's tyrannical lockdowns last year, making it a gigantic revenue earner with a £476 million annual income despite its mere 8-year existence.

The thought of a company prospering as a result of the plight of the locked down population against a backdrop of accusations of poor working conditions and staff treatment is usually enough to create a quiet disdain for a company upon which the idle and the obedient have become dependent upon yet disapprove of its corporate ethos, hence amusement was abound when Deliveroo went public and fell flat on its face.

On April Fool's Day this year, the ironic day after its listing, Deliveroo's disasteroo was the laughingstock of media and members of the public alike having lost 31% of its value on the first day with market capitalisation declining nearly £2 billion from its £7.6 billion starting point. One of the company's bankers reportedly described it as "the worst IPO in London's history".

It is not funny anymore, however, and the company has been pedaling uphill very quickly.

This week, Deliveroo has redeemed itself by stating that it will create 400 new technology jobs following bumper sales figures, which showed that the amount spent by customers almost doubled to £3.4billion in the first half of the year.

Stock is up tremendously, having risen 12% in the last 5 days, equating to 33%. Just today alone it is up 12.4 points, representing a 3.4% rise over yesterday's price and is at its highest point since entering the London Stock Exchange's main market.

Memories are short, and the pre-packed egg on the face of Deliveroo has been washed down the waste disposal unit as serious commentary and analysis is being made this morning and the smirking derision has gone.

400 technology jobs are no mean feat, especially given the pending unemployment disaster that has been created by the government and its draconian lockdowns, therefore Deliveroo should be heralded rather than derided, as this is what entering a stock market at a high level is about - providing prosperity for public shareholders as well as for the working population.

Since its IPO, investor uncertainty had been mounting concerning the status of Deliveroo’s riders. One of the firm’s competitors, Uber, had recently received a court ruling that stated its drivers were not self-employed contractors however there are clearly riders wishing to do the job, and there are some who work full time in another profession and do Deliveroo's work in their spare time, hence it is popular, especially in London.

Since the last week of June, the stock has soared by around 25%, putting it on track to returning to its initial public offering (IPO) issue price of 390p. It is not quite there yet, as it is at 335p today, but fortunes have changed for the better.

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