Postmates Raises $225M On $2.4B Valuation Pre-IPO

Postmates Gets $225M Infusion As It Prepares IPO

As it prepares to go public, delivery company Postmates has raised $225 million at a $2.4 billion valuation, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The investment was led by GPI Capital, and it brings the company’s total funding amount to date to almost $1 billion. For its investments, GPI takes non-controlling stakes somewhere between 2 and 20 percent.

Postmates got JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to help with IPO preparation, and it filed privately with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier in the year. The company is reportedly going to release a prospectus for the IPO this month.

Companies that are going public generally need last-minute cash infusions to stay afloat during the transition. Whether or not the company will be successful is another matter. Many other unicorns, like Uber and Lyft, have gone public and struggled to maintain their value on the market, even though they were coddled for years by private investors.

It’s also not yet known if on-demand delivery is a viable business model in the long term. It’s a crowded market, and until autonomous delivery becomes more common, it’s expensive labor-wise.

Last month, Postmates announced that it was testing robot delivery in San Francisco.

With a permit issued by the city, the online delivery company started testing three of its wheeled delivery robots on San Francisco streets in a designated area in and around Potrero Hill and the Inner Mission.

The robots travel at speeds of up to 3 mph, and someone has to be on hand within 30 feet of the vehicles. Also under the terms of the permit, deliveries are not allowed before 8 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Marble, a San Francisco robot-delivery company, also applied to deliver within city limits.

Dubbed Serve, the Postmates robot is designed as a “friendly-looking” sidewalk rover that guides itself with a combination of cameras and LIDAR (a sensor technology that uses pulses of laser light to detect distances). Serve can haul up to 50 pounds for up to 25 miles on a single charge. The bot was first introduced by Postmates in December 2018.