Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about SoftBank’s second Vision Fund. Before that, I noted some challenges plaguing mental health tech startups.
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This week DoorDash announced an agreement to acquire Caviar, an on-demand delivery business, from Square. DoorDash says it will pay $410 million for the company in a combination of cash and stock. If you’re thinking that seems like a lot of money, you are very much correct.
It’s so much money that all of us over here at TechCrunch were scratching our heads trying to understand why DoorDash would shell out that kind of cash. After all, Square paid only $90 million in stock for Caviar when it acquired the company back in 2014. However, DoorDash is VC cash-rich. The business, still privately-owned, has raised an astronomical sum of venture capital. This year alone it’s raised $1 billion, including a Series G funding of $600 million that valued it at $12.6 billion.
When a company raises that many huge rounds so close together, you can only assume it’s burning through a lot of cash. When it comes time for DoorDash to begin pitching Wall Street for an IPO — we’re thinking late next year — established subsidiaries like Caviar will at least help bolster its IPO-ready narrative.
With monster companies like DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats owning the food delivery space, we will no doubt see more big M&A deals and more startups die. (Remeber the insane fall of Munchery, anyone?) But will any of these efforts ever become profitable? Or will DoorDash burn through cash until there’s just no more cash left to burn?
If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Equity co-host Alex Wilhelm and I attempt to make sense of DoorDash’s acquisition of Caviar. Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast and Spotify.
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