SoftBank-backed Gopuff hires banks for IPO -sources

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By Anirban Sen, Krystal Hu and Echo Wang

-Gopuff, the SoftBank Group Corp -backed delivery startup that was valued at about $15 billion last year, has tapped banks to lead preparations for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO), people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

U.S.-based Gopuff, which operates in 1,000 cities in the United States and Europe, is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc on its planned stock market float, which is expected later this year, the sources said. It also plans to tap other underwriters, including JPMorgan Chase, the sources added.

The sources cautioned that the timing, valuation and size of the IPO were subject to market conditions. All sources requested anonymity because the discussions are confidential.

Gopuff, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment.

The sources said that GoPuff is expecting to be valued at a significant premium to its $15 billion valuation from a fundraise in July https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/gopuff-valued-15-billion-after-raising-funds-global-investors-2021-07-30. Gopuff was valued at just $4 billion in an October 2020 fundraising.

The company also issued a convertible note in December to raise $1.5 billion from existing investor Guggenheim Investments and other debt holders, the sources said. The note will convert to equity at either the IPO price or at a maximum valuation of $40 billion, the sources added.

Gopuff is pushing ahead with its IPO preparations and is expected to be among the biggest flotations this year, despite market conditions that are less than ideal for stock market launches.

Volatility has caused a number of IPOs to be postponed while other companies have been forced to rethink their plans. IPO bankers, however, say the pipeline for deals is still healthy.

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Founded in 2013 by college students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, Gopuff has grown into one of the largest on-demand delivery startups. It business was aided by widespread lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic that forced people to rely on online delivery platforms.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Gopuff delivers items like food, alcohol and medicines at a $1.95 flat delivery charge, and competes with other delivery platforms like Instacart and Rappi, both of whom are also expected to go public this year.

Gopuff has 600 mini-warehouses. By owning the inventory and end-to-end supply chain, Gopuff aims to make its business more profitable. Earlier this month, it launched its first private-label brand.

Gopuff has raised more than $3.5 billion in equity funding to date, counting Accel, Blackstone, Fidelity Management and singer Selena Gomez among its prominent backers.

(Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)