Roy Gilbert

Ready for IPO, Postmates needs to win big in LA — or else

LOS ANGELES — Bastian Lehmann, the German-born chief executive of delivery app maker Postmates Inc., has taken to wearing a Dodgers cap and a crisp white tee, at least whenever cameras are around. Lehmann has never lived in Los Angeles. (Postmates is based in San Francisco.) He has been to only a handful of Dodger games. But his company, which is poised to go public in the coming weeks and is currently valued at $2.4 billion, needs Los Angeles. So Dodgers cap it is. IPOs are meant to be victory laps for investors and early employees, but at first glance, Postmates heads into this one in a less than ideal position. Among the major services providing on-demand restaurant delivery via smartphone app, it ranks fourth for national market share, and its competitors have significantly more cash to burn. DoorDash, the national leader and owner of Seamless and Caviar, has raised $1 billion in 2019 alone. Grubhub, the No. 2, dominates the lucrative New York City market. Uber Eats, which comes in third across the country, has the $55-billion market cap of Uber behind it. And this year has not been kind to money-losing consumer tech companies making their public market debuts. First Lyft, then Uber went public in the spring, only to see their stock prices crater once their financials were exposed, showing massive losses and no clear path to black ink. WeWork seemed to disintegrate as soon as its balance sheet — and the self-dealing and self-aggrandizement of […]

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