DoorDash Files to Go Public; Zoox Seeks Funding for Self-Driving Taxis


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: DoorDash files to go public; Zoox seeks funding for self-driving taxis; and Spinny raises USD$43.7m. 

DoorDash files to go public

DoorDash has announced that it has filed confidentially to go public. It did not say how many shares it would potentially sell, the share price range for the IPO or what the timing of its next steps would be.

A public listing would be another way for the company to pick up a significant injection of capital at a key time in the on-demand delivery industry, where competition is fierce and we’re seeing a lot of consolidation globally. The timing of the news also underscores just how cash-intensive this business can be. DoorDash  — which by some estimates currently leads the food delivery market in the US — closed its latest round only in November last year, just over three months ago. That was for USD$700m at a USD$13bn valuation.

In the US the company is understood to have 38% of the market. It operates in heated, and subsequently expensive, rivalry with the likes of Postmates (10% share) and Uber Eats (20%), and more legacy players like Grubhub (31%). That fierce competition is very capital-intensive and has led to rumors over the few years that the company has explored mergers with Uber Eats and Postmates.

Zoox seeks funding for self-driving taxis

Self-driving car developer Zoox is in advanced discussions with several strategic partners and corporate investors for its next funding round. 

Last October, the business raised USD$200m in convertible note funding, which it said it would fold into an upcoming Series C round that has yet to occur. Zoox is more ambitious than most AV tech startups, with plans to operate its own ride-hailing service using a purpose-built robotaxi currently under development.

The self-driving car developer has been especially quiet for the past year or so, and venture capital sources say the company has struggled to raise capital to fund its ambitious plans.

Zoox continues to develop its self-driving technology using Toyota SUVs on some of the most difficult streets of San Francisco. It will be interesting to follow Zoox’s development, as it takes a lot of capital to develop autonomous vehicle technology; even more so to design and build a vehicle and then launch a ride-hailing network.

Spinny raises USD$43.7m 

Spinny, an online platform for selling used cars, has secured USD$43.7m from a cohort of influential investors in a new financing round as it looks to expand to more Indian cities. 

The four-year-old startup has raised about USD$57m to date. The new round gave it a post money valuation of about USD$150m.

Niraj Singh, co-founder and chief executive of the startup told TechCrunch “Most of these people are aged under 35. They are aspirational and want to get better cars. But it’s a hassle for them to find a trustworthy place and deal with agents,” he said.

The Gurgaon-based four-year-old startup is solving that by inspecting and purchasing the cars and then selling them itself.

“Since there is no middlemen, we are able to sell the cars at more affordable prices and we offer a five-day, no-question asked full-refund if someone is not satisfied with their purchase. On top of that, we also offer a year-long warranty on these cars.”

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