When will Gopuff pull the cord on an IPO?

Tom Paine

There is almost a kind of meme for anticipating a Gopuff IPO, which possibly could come later this year. This is was what Reuters reported at the time of Gopuff’s new billion dollar round in March:

“A source close to the matter told Reuters that GoPuff has already started discussions with financial advisers and banks and are mulling whether to go forward through a traditional initial public offering or a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.”

if Gopuff, now valued at $8.9 billion, can stay roughly on track with its goal of tripling revenue this year (again) while keeping operating losses under control, and demonstrating profitability in its longest established markets, then it would probably be a go. The biggest risk could be a slow down in the market and its receptivity to highly valued IPOs, which indeed is possible later this year (in my opinion).

But the nature of Gopuff’s business adds to the allure. Unlike some enterprise software product, the Gopuff brand is becoming known widely as it expands across the nation. And the people who like the brand or at least appreciate its convenience, may become enamored with the idea of owning a piece. The rumor mills on the web are heating up.

It could be that the only thing that may slow Gopuff down in the short term would be a shortage of drivers.

DoorDash’s December IPO was a huge positive to SoftBank’s market value (although its becoming more of a direct competitor to Gopuff as it adds dark stores), so I can only imagine that SoftBank anxiously anticipates an eventual Gopuff offering.

Also, people should be prepared for efforts to acquire Gopuff that could come at any time.

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goPuff in talks to acquire UK delivery startup Fancy

Tom Paine

Several news outlets are reporting that goPuff may be close to acquiring UK delivery startup Fancy Delivery.

Fancy launched in late 2020 after graduating from Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and currently operates in 4 cities in the UK. It has a model very similar to goPuff, including having its own local fulfillment centers.

An announcement could come in the next few weeks. The deal would be all in stock, sources tell TechCrunch.

Philly-based goPuff has raised over $1.3 billion in financing, with Softbank being the largest investor.

Report: goPuff raised $750 million led by Softbank

Tom Paine

I was planning a (short) update about Philly unicorns, and was wondering where goPuff stood. Last summer the tech biz website The Information reported that Softbank was considering a large investment in the Philly-based snacks & convenience home delivery startup, which was already labeled a unicorn having reached a billion dollar valuation.

The wire had since gone dead on that subject, and with the fallout from the WeWork debacle and stories about Softbank backing away from some investment opportunities at the last minute, I assumed it had walked away from goPuff. But not so fast; today The Information‘s Cory Weinberg and Amir Efrati reported that Softbank had indeed agreed to lead a $750 million investment in goPuff last August, with an option to invest $250 million more this year.

goPuff, founded by former Drexel students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, has a strategy of building and stocking its own local distribution hubs rather than piggybacking off of other outlets, which is probably a more expensive route to achieve market coverage. It also needs to enhance its marketing to reach beyond college campuses, where word of mouth is strong.

The article didn’t address valuation, as I recall, only getting a peek before it disappeared behind the paywall. But the amount of the latest investment, which is larger than one might have thought, certainly makes goPuff a player among a small circle of major competitors.

SoftBank considering investment in goPuff

Tom Paine

SoftBank is considering making a large investment in home delivery service goPuff, the website The Infomation reported.

The investment could be for several hundred million dollars, according to the article.

Philly-based goPuff has already reached Unicorn status, The Information says, but its been very quiet when it comes to announcing investment events.

SoftBank might have some channel conflicts with other startups its invested in, including Uber and DoorDash, and that has been an issue of debate within SoftBank.

Founded in 2013 by Drexel students  Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, goPuff grew like a weed and now serves 90 markets.

Speculation about SoftBank’s planned $108 billion Vision Fund ll (which isn’t certain to be the funding source for any investment in goPuff) has often involved questions as to how far SoftBank will have to search for investment opportunities, since it already reached many obvious ones through the first Vision Fund.

To date, goPuff funding per CrunchBase is $8.3 million from two rounds, the latest a 2016 Series A round led by Anthos. But goPuff must have gone beyond that amount already judging from its rapid expansion to 30 states, going down to Florida and to Arizona and Colorado to the west. So my guess is it already has more funding from somewhere.

But there are risks, as well as opportunities, in moving so quickly to establish a national footprint.

Update: Verified recent investor in goPuff:

Dan Primack’s Pro Rata reported in early July that “3L Capital tells Axios that it’s raised $217 million for its debut fund, which will make growth equity investments in consumer and enterprise tech companies.””

“It launched around 18 months ago, and used a warehousing facility to already invest around $100 million into companies like TheRealReal, Smile Direct Club, goPuff, SnackNation and ChowNow. “

Don’t know what kind of round was involved.

But The information piece said goPuff was already a Unicorn.