Fast delivery billionaires become millionaires in post pandemic downturn

With US $100 billion wiped from the value of fast delivery companies in recent weeks, it seems that the industry is facing a reckoning.

Founders of DoorDash, Just Eat Takeaway and Deliveroo have become multibillionaires as their companies saw strong growth in the pandemic. The businesses seemed to be in the right place at the right time when the public’s movements were restricted and in many ways supported the wider economy by enabling outlets to trade that may have otherwise gone out of business.

Founder of Just Eat Takeaway Jitse Groen was a GBP billionaire at one stage but has seen his fortune slump to somewhere around £200 million since the industry hit hard times. The other founders have seen similar hits to their wealth.

As pandemic restrictions were lifted, so many former customers of the delivery firms returned to eating out. The restaurant delivery firms had learned how to make good revenues but none had achieved profitability in that time.

At the same time, high inflation in the UK, EU and US has impacted the amount of cash available to customers for eating out, and with the overall economic downturn, the reversed fortunes of the fast-delivery sector seems to be set to continue.

“The bottom is too tough to call,” said Diana Gomes, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “The sector never experienced such a combination of high inflation and uncertainty on what level of demand constitutes the new normal.”

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