Category Archives: Start-up data

Food delivery startups – a quick analysis

Yesterday I discovered an Indian startup filed to go public on its national stock exchange. I did not know it, shame on me. Zomato is the latest filing in a small number but extremely visible services in the food delivery sector. Who does not know Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats and others.

I am not sure that twenty years ago I would have pu the sector in technology innovation, but I have to admit innovation has many faces. On Crunchbase, the sector is said to have 616 organizations with $12.5B in funding (see Crunchbase Food Delivery Startups). Traxn gives the largest players here. So thanks to my database of 777 cap. tables, I could have a look at some statistics, with the exception of FoodPanda (acquired by Delivery Hero, funded with $318M including Rocket Internet), iFood (Brazil, owned by Movile, $587M in funding) and Swiggy (India, $2.5B in funding including Accel). Here are the data at time of the IPO filings.

Start-up JustEat GrubHub Zomato Delivery Hero Deliveroo DoorDash Median *
Geography United Kingdom Illinois India Germany United Kingdom Silicon Valley
Founded Aug-01 Feb-04 Jan-10 May-11 Aug-12 May-13 Sep-02
IPO / exit Apr-14 Apr-14 Apr-21 Jun-17 Mar-21 Nov-20 Mar-13
Years to IPO 12,7 10,2 11,3 6,1 8,6 7,5 7,4
VC Amount 88 86 1529 1711 1856 2578 84
1st round 8 1 1 4 4 2 4,4
Sales ($M) 150 137 338 297 1 680 885 23
Income ($M) 10 15 -310 -202 -312 -668 -14
Market Cap. 1 465 1 988 6 782 4 700 10 220 17 384 560
PS 10 15 20 16 6 20 17
PE 147 133 102
Nb of Emp. 886 680 3 469 12 098 2 561 3 279 189

*: the median value is based on 777 startups compiled over years. PS and PE are the ratios of market caps to sales and earnings (profit)

Just Eat has no data on founders as the initial Danish company with 5 founders has been bought and moved/launched in the UK.

Here are the data to date (GrubHub has been acquired by Just Eat in 2020):

Market Cap. $B Sales – $B Loss – $M PS Employees
Just Eat 15,4 2,8 -151 5,4 9 000
Delivery Hero 39,4 2,0 -939 19,5 35 528
DoorDash 46,0 2,9 -458 15,9 3 886
Deliveroo 6,3 1,6 -225 3,9 2 060
Zomato 6,8 0,3 -310 20,1 3 469

What is interesting is the difference in dynamics between companies launched before 2010. Something not really new if you follow this blog, in terms of growth dynammics. Here are some more data about shareholders

Start-up JustEat GrubHub Zomato Delivery Hero Deliveroo DoorDash Median *
Found. 5,7% 6,2% 4,5% 7,1% 12,0% 9%
Emp. 9,4% 25,1% 7,0% 17,2% 18,9% 18,5% 21%
Emp. shares 9,3% 12,1% 3,1% 11,7% 9,4% 4,8% 8%
ESOP-granted 0,1% 9,7% 0,6% 5,5% 9,5% 11,8% 8%
ESOP-reserved 3,3% 3,3% 1,9% 5%
Dir. 0,2% 0,06% 0%
CEO 1,0% 3%
VP 0,2% 1,1% 0,2% 0,2% 0,8% 1%
CFO 0,2% 0,3% 0,2% 1%
Investors 66,0% 59,3% 70,2% 59,9% 74,0% 68,7% 51%
IPO 24,6% 9,7% 16,6% 18,4% 0,6% 16%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Nb of Dir. 2 2 2
Dir % 0,1% 0,03% 0,2%
Nb of found. 2 4 3 2 3 2
Found. % 2,9% 1,6% 1,5% 3,6% 4,0% 4,5%
Found. age 27 31 31 33 23 37,6
F1 28 27 31 33 29
F2 26 29 33 21
F3 31 20
F4 38

The founders are young, own little. How teh sector will develop, I do not know. There is already concentration. Barriers to entry look low. Some experts have doubt about long term profitability… tough to say. Deliveroo shows no IPO shares as the initial filing did not include any new shares. It may have changed at the recent IPO which was not a success; and here are the individual cap. tables.

Coursera files to go public (#750)

After Deliveroo yesterday, here is Coursera’s cap. table. It’s #750 in my long list of startups (see here my most recent analysis – data about 700+ startups).

Coursera and Udacity are probably the most famous MOOCS companies and I could not be surprised if they contributed to create the edtech category. Coursera just filed to go public on Nasdaq so its numbers are available.

Revenues of $293M, with a loss of $66 million in 2020. A lot of venture capital since its foundation in 2011, $464M in total from Kleiner Perkins (and legendary partner John Doerr, and NEA.

Founded by two Stanford professors, specialists of artificial intelligence, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, age 43 and 34 at the time of foundation. They are not managing the company anymore. No information about Koller’s shareholding probably because she owns less than 5% of the company and has no executive role.

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University

Source : NPR

Deliveroo plans to go public

There was a lot of buzz today about Deliveroo announcing its IPO soon. By the way Coursera, the edtech company just announced it too and I will post about it next. So I had to build its cap. table and thanks to the openness of the British register of companies, I could do it (at least partially) even before the company filed its IPO document.

Interesting data I think about the company growth, its funding and the founders stakeholding. £1.3B invested to cover £1.1B loss, 2’500 employees in 2019 and £1.2B revenues in 2020. Among the best European VCs (Index, Accel) plus Amazon, Fidelity, DST, T.Rowe Price as late stage investors. What else?

PS (March 19): a former colleague mentioned an article saying that early investors would have made “60’000 per cent return” on their investement. At the same time, I discovered about Coupang in South Korea which looked similar to Deliveroo. So I also checked the multiple return for seed investors in Coupang. Here is first its cap. table.

So for Coupang, the initial price per share was $0.02, and I assumed a $35 at IPO, which makes a 1750x multiple.

For Deliveroo, I assume a price per share of £900 with a series A price at £8.36. It is true there were also seed shares at £1,5. This would be a 600x (or 60’000 per cent, not an annuela return though)

So Coupang is even better than Deliveroo…

GAFAM do not suffer from the crisis (part II)

Yesterday I published data in Tesla, Google and Facebook do not suffer from the crisis. and after linking my post to the usual Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, one of my readers (thanks Manuel!) told me it would be fun to add Uber as a comparison. I said I would if/when I find the time and then thought why not AirBnB, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft?

I could only compile data about revenues of these firms and I think it is striking enough:

I wrote yerterday the growth rate was above 100% (doubling every year) in the early years declining to around 40% (doubling every other year) then to 15% (doubling evry five-year). Here are the growth rates of these old and new Titans. It begins again with 100+% for all of them. Too early to say about the future of Uber and AirBnB.
The three others of the GAFAM.
– Microsoft even had a 50% growth in its second decade, Amazon was closer to 30% and Apple struggled with 20%.
– In their 4th decade, Microsoft had an average grwoth of 10% and Apple 30%.

OK Manuel?

Tesla, Google and Facebook do not suffer from the crisis.

This may not be surprising and it has been said in the media. The GAFAs have generally benefited from the Covid crisis. So, as I was independantly doing in the recent years, I looked again at the growth of Google and Facebook as well as Tesla.

[As a reference here are past articles:
– Are GAFAs threatened? Their growth is still steady:
– Facebook Finally Files For $5B:
– Google vs. Facebook:]

And here are my udpates abour revenue, income and employee growth of Google, Facebook and Tesla:

Revenues and profits are in millions of $. What is undoubtedly the most striking is the similarity of the growths of the three actors and of course the fact that all these numbers are considerable, not to say extraordinary.

Typical of Silicon Valley startups, the growth is often above 100% in the early years decreasing to about 40% after a few years and still above 15% after 20 years. This means respectively doubling the numbers every year, every two years and every five years.

The largest technology companies in Europe and the USA in 2020

I regularly look at the largest technology companies in the USA and Europe and obviously this year, I had the impact of Covid in mind. Here are the tables I build once a year (and that you could compare to the ones published in January 2020 here or in 2017 here.

I am adding below their PS (price to sales, ratio of market cap to revenues) and PE (price to earnings, ratio of market cap to profits when positive) as well as the growth of the market cap. and revenues. There are 3 new companies I had not studied last year (Airbnb, Paypal and AMD) for which the growth is therefore not mentioned.

There would be many comments to give btu I will be fast:
– The GAFAs are the clear leaders, 4 of them are trillion dollar companies. Facebook is a little surprinsingly not as impressive and Tesla is appearing on top.
– The COVID did not have a big impact, not to say it had a positive impact on technology companies (in financial more than in economic terms)
– Again, looking at averages we see Europe is lagging in market caps, employement, sales and profits by factors close to 10…

The Age of Founders – Again!!

As an interesting coincidence, I was mentioned twice in a few days a recent research about the age of founders:
– Colleagues from IMF – the International Monetary Fund – mentioned to me this morning an article from The Harvard Business Review published in 2018: Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45 by Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda.
– Just before Christmas, I had a debate with French economists about the age of founders, and they mentioned to me Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship by Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda.

The same authors, the same messages… In a nutshell: “It’s widely believed that the most successful entrepreneurs are young. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg were in their early twenties when they launched what would become world-changing companies. Do these famous cases reflect a generalizable pattern? […] Our team analyzed the age of all business founders in the U.S. in recent years by leveraging confidential administrative data sets from the U.S. Census Bureau. We found that the average age of entrepreneurs at the time they founded their companies is 42. […] But what about the most successful startups? Is it possible that companies started by younger entrepreneurs are particularly successful? Among the top 0.1% of startups based on growth in their first five years, we find that the founders started their companies, on average, when they were 45 years old. […] These averages, however, hide a large amount of variation across industries. In software startups, the average age is 40, and younger founders aren’t uncommon. However, young people are less common in other industries such as oil and gas or biotechnology, where the average age is closer to 47. […] In light of this evidence, why do some VCs persist in betting on young founders? We cannot definitively answer this question with the data at our disposal, but we believe that two mechanisms could be at play. First, many VCs may operate under a mistaken belief that youth is the elixir of successful entrepreneurship — in other words, VCs are simply wrong. Though it is tempting to see age bias as the leading explanation for the divergence between our findings and investor behavior, there is a more benign possibility: VCs are not simply looking to identify the firms with the highest growth potential. Rather, they may seek investments that will yield the highest returns, and it is possible that young founders are more financially constrained than more experienced ones, leading them to cede upside to investors at a lower price. In other words, younger entrepreneurs may be a better “deal” for investors than more experienced founders.”

The age of founders has been an interesting topic here as you may check with tag #age. In particular I wrote
Data about equity of 600 startups in April 2020
The Age of Founders of Start-ups – Again! in April 2019
Age and Experience of High-tech Entrepreneurs in June 2014

What you will find in common between this recent research and my posts is that there is variation with the field. I am not sure this new research looks at the first entrepreneurial activity and it would make sense as their emphasis is towards experience. I also had different answers about the impact in value creation in my research with this striking illustration:

All this drives me to a second line of thinking:
– the importance of creativity: check #creativity.
– the importance of experience: I had a piece of research with strange results many years ago about serial entrepreneurs. The end result my be counterintuitive. Check #serial entrepreneur

I will not really conclude but say in the end it depends… except by mentioning Galenson‘s work about conceptual and experimental innovators: “Experimental innovators work by trial and error, and arrive at their major contributions gradually, late in life. In contrast, conceptual innovators make sudden breakthroughs by formulating new ideas, usually at an early age. […] Experimental innovators seek, and conceptual innovators find.” from Old Masters and Young Geniuses. This could be an answer to the authors’ question on the choice of VCs: they would be looking for conceptual innovators.

A major update : data about 700+ startups

I regularly compile data about startups, mostly when they file to go public, when I can use their IPO prospectus (typically S-1 or 424B4 documents on Nasdaq). Thanks to a rush of IPOs this year (despite the covid) but also by revisiting older filings thanks to Jay Ritter great database of 11000+ IPOs since 1975, I could recently increase my own (much smaller) database of cap tables to 716 former technology startups (from 600 startups last April). This is a 20% or so increase, so it is quite a major update. Here is the document of all individual cap. tables:
Equity List – Lebret – Nov2020

You may prefer to download the pdf. And before reading the rest of the post, you may be interested in the analysis of the 600 startups last April : Updated data in equity of 600 (former) startups.

I will not go into the details of the data analysis, which would no doubt be similar to the 600 startups of last April. You can find the new stats beginning page 729 of the pdf. The evolution of the figures by period of 5 years is striking. It undoubtedly shows in part the evolution of the importance of technology but also the influence of venture capital in growth strategies. For better or for worse as I said in my previous article and as Philippe Labouchère said very well in Le Temps: These mega-investments that distort reality (Ces méga-investissements qui déforment la réalité).

Don’t be misled by the drop in the 2015 period. These very young companies who filed to go public are mostly biotech companies which have sligthly different dynamics. The IT companies which will file in the next years will be interesting to analyze: we’ll see if the trend continues or collapses…

One final element. Out of the 716 companies, 274 have been acquired and 383 are still public. The average M&A value is $3B and the median is $600M (remember the statistics of startups are not gaussian but follow a power law, a kind of “winner takes all” situation). Here is the list of the main acquirers:

Covid-19 Startups : BioNTech and Moderna

Yesterday I posted about Airbnb IPO filing here and in a few weeks or months I will update my 600-startup cap. tables to 700. A major upgrade. In the mean time, even if I am not a specialist at all of biotechnology I study some startups of the field from time to time. You can check the tag #biotech for example or a post about Crispr startups. It would have been difficult not to notice recently two other startups which went public recently, Moderna in 2018 and BioNTech in 2019, because of Covid19. Look at their recent stock history when they annouced a vaccine against the virus:

Maybe have a quick look at their cap. table below but first some comments: Moderna had been founded in the Boston area in 2009 and BioNTech in Germany in 2008. Their revenues (and losses) were large at time of filing. A lot of venture capital (which owns 60% of both startups), many employees. Not young founders (46 and 60 at Moderna, 41, 43 and 64 at BioNTech). You can add any comment you want, if any…

In reality, these figures are not that different from those of the giants of the digital world in yesterday’s post, except one maybe, the founders’ age.

Airbnb files to go public – the last giant?

Airbnb just filed to go public. Finally! It maybe the last IPO of the recent giants (and not the latest only), these giants which emerged in the 21st century, such as

and of course is the cap.table, not that far from what I had tried to guess in 2017 in