DoorDash confirms $400M raise, IPO timing unclear

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: A view of general atmosphere at the Doordash booth at 'Night Market' presented by The Los Angeles Times on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Los Angeles Times Food Bowl)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: A view of general atmosphere at the Doordash booth at 'Night Market' presented by The Los Angeles Times on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Los Angeles Times Food Bowl)
Alex Wilhelm

DoorDash has confirmed that it is raising "approximately $400 million" in a Series H round of funding.

Earlier today, Axios reported that the company was looking for a roughly $400 million round at a post-money valuation of $16 billion. DoorDash clarified in a statement provided to TechCrunch that the valuation is slightly under the $16 billion mark.

The round was expected, though the final valuation of the deal came in $1 billion higher than earlier reports had indicated.

DoorDash, the popular American food delivery company, has aggressively raised capital throughout its life, including a huge Series G in late 2019 that valued it near $13 billion. According to the company, new investors Durable Capital Partners and Fidelity led the round, along with what it described as "existing investors, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates."

Why are unicorns pushing back IPOs when the Nasdaq is near record highs?

That DoorDash raised more capital from private investors is itself a quirk of 2020; the company privately filed to go public earlier this year, plans that were pushed back likely due to COVID-19, and the pandemic's ensuing economic unrest. But DoorDash is nothing if not capital-hungry, and raising an IPO-sized haul of cash from private investors is not only on-brand, but essential, given the nature of the company's business.

The domestic food-delivery giant is at war with Uber's Uber Eats service, the Postmates delivery service and the Grubhub-Just Eat Takeaway hybrid. This highly competitive market keeps capital requirements high.

It's not exactly clear that DoorDash actually needed to take the money or hold off on a public listing. Other companies, like Vroom, were undeterred by what looked like weak economics in their core businesses and made the jump to public markets. Perhaps DoorDash will go public soon, as well, this new capital be damned. But if it does use its new check to hold off on going public, the question becomes what market conditions is DoorDash waiting for?

Update: I tweaked the headline on this piece. It should now be clearer.

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