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DoorDash, the largest food delivery group in the US, is preparing to make its first investment in Europe by acquiring a stake in Gorillas, the fast-growing Berlin-based food delivery app.
Gorillas was seeking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding at a valuation of about $ 2.5 billion, according to people familiar with its plans, much reduced from its original aspiration of a $ 6 billion price tag. DoorDash had shown interest in joining the round, these people said.
The deal had not yet been finalized, but could close later this month, they said. The size of DoorDash’s stake could not be known as talks with investors continue.
The talks come after Gorilas faced protests over how it treats its delivery men and warehouse workers, as well as the departure of top executives, fueling criticism of Kağan Sümer, its tough CEO.
Gorillas has already raised more than $ 300 million from investors including Tencent, DST Global and Coatue Management, reaching a valuation of $ 1 billion with its most recent round in March. Some of those existing investors are likely to participate in the new round.
Spokespersons for DoorDash and Gorillas declined to comment.
DoorDash has become the largest food ordering app in the US by customer spending, according to Edison Trends, with a market capitalization of $ 58 billion.
Your investment in Gorillas would be a rare case where DoorDash buys a minority stake in a similar business. In 2019, it acquired US food delivery company Caviar for $ 410 million in cash and shares.
It would also mark another significant move by DoorDash to build its presence in Europe, particularly Germany. In May, the Financial Times reported that DoorDash had started reading a launch of its food delivery services in the country, posting 15 job vacancies for a team to be based in Berlin.
Gorillas launched in New York City in May and has expanded to more than 50 cities in Europe in recent months.
Express delivery services offering groceries and convenience items, such as Getir and GoPuff, have raised billions in venture capital funding this year, reflecting investors’ hopes that online ordering habits developed during the pandemic persist as economies reopen.
Several startups have sprung up in the US and Europe over the past year that promised deliveries from a network of small local warehouses, or “dark stores,” to customers’ homes in as little as 10 minutes.
The market is already beginning to consolidate. GoPuff has acquired UK-based Fancy and is reportedly in talks to buy Dija, a similar start-up company founded by former Deliveroo executives. The FT reported earlier this year that DoorDash had discussed a potential investment or acquisition with several of the European grocery delivery apps.
It is not yet clear whether DoorDash would incorporate Gorillas into its own restaurant delivery service as part of the investment. In May, Uber partnered with GoPuff to offer its selection within the Uber Eats app.
DoorDash’s interest arises when Gorillas has faced a number of negative headlines in recent months, including protests in Berlin this summer. Some motorcyclists have complained of unfair firings and poor working conditions. Like most of its competitors, it also continues to make heavy losses. Customer data was leaked online after a breach in May.
In an interview last month with InformationSümer, a former Bain consultant, admitted to taking “performance enhancers” when he was working at a new company, but said his drug use was “in the past.” Two of the Gorillas co-founders left the company earlier this year.