DoorDash is an on-demand food and grocery delivery platform that allows customers to order food and beverages from restaurants nearby.
The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded in 2013 by Tony Xu, Andy Fang, Evan Moore, and Stanley Tang.
In recent years, DoorDash has managed to become the leading food delivery service in the United States. Today, it has a dominating market share of 59 percent in the country. This has allowed the company to expand into new markets as well, namely Australia and Japan.
Moreover, DoorDash continues to expand its business lines by getting into grocery delivery, catering, and logistics, among others.
Investors certainly like what DoorDash did as well. They injected an eye-popping $2.5 billion into the company during its tenure as a private company. DoorDash raised another $3.4 billion when it went public in December 2020.
This has translated to revenues of $4.8 billion – in 2021 alone. A year prior, during a raging pandemic, DoorDash ‘only’ generated $2.9 billion in revenue. It, therefore, almost doubled its revenue despite lockdown measures being lifted in all of its markets. Safe to say the company is firing on all cylinders.
Over two million couriers are currently part of the DoorDash platform. An additional 6,000 people are employed by the company on a full-time basis. Lastly, its iOS app alone has been reviewed more than 13.8 million times.
The methodology with which competitors of DoorDash are ranked is based on publicly available information. Data points such as the revenue generated, the number of employees, the number of cities served, the amount of drivers on the platform, app downloads, and anything else in between will be considered.
This analysis, in order to ensure comparability, looks at competitors both within the food and grocery delivery space. Potential competitors in its catering and logistics business lines are not being taken into account (in case you’re curious how DoorDash makes money, click here).
Lastly, this analysis does not include indirect competitors of DoorDash. Examples would be supermarkets, grocery chains, meal-kit services (such as HelloFresh), or even something simple as cooking at home.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 14 competitors as well as the competitive advantage of DoorDash.
1. Uber Eats
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States Founder(s): Uber Year Founded: 2014
Uber Eats is the food delivery subsidiary of the transportation giant Uber. The platform was initially launched UberFRESH and, a year later, renamed to Uber Eats.
While the Eats business, much like the parent company, has gone through dozens of legal and financial issues in the past, it remains one of the world’s leading food delivery services. Uber Eats is currently available in more than 6,000 cities across 45 countries.
In 2021, Uber Eats generated $8.3 billion in revenue. The United States naturally remains its strongest market where it accounts for 24 percent of all meal delivery sales (only trailing DoorDash).
The service, furthermore, works together with more than 600,000 restaurants. Its iOS app has been rated an impressive 5.3 million times.
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States Founder(s): Jason Finger, Matt Maloney, Mike Evans Year Founded: 2004
Grubhub is one of the oldest services on this list, having initially started as a restaurant listing site. Those restaurants would then take care of the delivery themselves. In 2015, as a reaction to the pressure that DoorDash and Uber Eats put on its business, Grubhub also entered the food delivery race.
That pivot was financed by its 2014 IPO, which allowed the company to raise $192.5 million (on top of the $84.1 million in equity funding it got before). To remain competitive, Grubhub decided to sell itself to Just Eat Takeaway for a whopping $7.3 billion in June 2020.
Grubhub’s market share in the United States, its only market, is currently equal to 14 percent. Just Eat Takeaway said that revenues for its North America division, which mostly includes Grubhub, equaled $2.67 billion in 2021.
Grubhub, furthermore, employs around 6,000 people. It counts 320,000 restaurants as partners and is available in 4,000 cities across the United States. Its iOS app was rated 3.5 million times alone.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States Founder(s): Apoorva Mehta, Brandon Leonardo, Max Mullen Year Founded: 2012
Instacart is the leading grocery delivery service in the United States. It delivers from grocery chains such as Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam’s Club, and others. To do that, it taps into a network of more than 100,000 drivers.
In order to get the business, which is currently valued at $24 billion, off the ground, tons of capital was needed. More precisely, Instacart has raised $2.9 billion in funding thus far.
This has translated to annual revenues of $1.8 billion in 2021, up from the $1.5 billion Instacart made in 2020. Close to 15,000 people are employed by the company whose iOS app has been reviewed 2.3 million times.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States Founder(s): Bastian Lehmann, Sam Street, Sean Plaice Year Founded: 2011
Postmates started out as a logistics-focused service that would deliver anything from food all the way to electronics such as the iPhone. After Uber acquired the service for $2.7 billion in July 2020, it fully pivoted towards food delivery.
Prior to the takeover, Postmates has been one of the highflyers in the delivery space. It raised $763 million in funding. The company serves over 70 percent of all U.S. households, equating to about 3,500 cities and 500,000 restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, and traditional retailers. Its app has been reviewed 1.8 million times on top of that.
5. Amazon Fresh
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States Founder(s): Amazon Year Founded: 2007
Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of the online marketplace giant that includes its own set of retail stores (dubbed Amazon Go) as well as grocery delivery. Prime members, for example, can take advantage of free and same-day delivery.
The delivery service is available across the U.S., the U.K., and in selected cities such as Berlin, London, Milan, and Tokyo. In some instances, such as the U.K., it works together with local retail chains to source the groceries. Other times, it delivers from Whole Foods stores, which Amazon acquired in 2017.
Amazon remains particularly secretive about the performance of its Fresh subsidiary. As a result, it has opted against disclosing data to the public. Nevertheless, given Amazon’s ambition, capital, reach (through Prime), and ability to repeatedly expand into new business lines, it can be assumed that it already is a significant competitor to DoorDash.
Sources: Amazon Fresh
Headquarters: New York City, United States Founder(s): Andy Appelbaum, Jason Finger, Paul Appelbaum, Todd Arky Year Founded: 1999
Seamless is another OG in the online food space. Much like Grubhub, it began as a restaurant listing marketplace. In 2013, it merged with Grubhub to create the leading food ordering platform (that was until DoorDash and Uber Eats disrupted the market).
These days, most of its employees are part of Grubhub (or Just Eat Takeaway.com, to be more precise). Nevertheless, the company still has a strong foothold on the East Coast where it originated. Its iOS app, for example, was reviewed close to 450,000 times.
Sources: App Store
Headquarters: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Founder(s): Rafael Ilishayev, Yakir Gola Year Founded: 2013
Gola and Ilishayev were barely above the legal drinking age when they started Gopuff, a grocery delivery service that operates hundreds of micro-fulfillment centers to serve customers within a matter of minutes. Customers can choose from a selection of 4,000 products.
Gopuff has certainly transformed the grocery delivery industry, which traditionally relied on restaurant partners to supply the items. Gopuff, in spite of its resource-intensive business model (which you can read about here), has managed to expand to 1,000+ cities in the U.S., U.K., and France.
Investors certainly love what they’re seeing as well. They have poured a combined $3.4 billion into the business, which generated $2 billion in revenue in 2021 alone. It is currently valued at $15 billion and employs around 5,000 people.
Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama, United States Founder(s): Bill Smith Year Founded: 2014
Shipt works together with 120+ retailers to deliver groceries to consumers across the United States. The company works together with the nation’s leading chains including Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Petco, Sephora, and more.
Within three years of being founded, the company managed to grow to hundreds of cities served. This led Target to splurge $550 million on the business, which it acquired in December 2017. Previously, Shipt had raised $65.2 million in venture funding.
Today, the service covers 5,000+ cities and is thus able to cover 80 percent of households nationwide. Those households are served by the more than 300,000 ‘Shoppers’ that work with Shipt on a contractual basis.
Headquarters: Playa Vista, California, United States Founder(s): Christopher Webb, Eric Jaffe Year Founded: 2010
ChowNow is the socially conscious company on this list. Instead of charging restaurants a commission and thus cutting into their profits, it actually generates revenue from affordable subscription fees that those restaurant partners pay (more on its business model can be read here).
The company, which has raised $64 million in funding thus far, works together with over 20,000 restaurants in the United States and Canada.
Additionally, close to 500 people are employed by ChowNow. Its consumer-facing app has been reviewed another 15,000 times.
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom Founder(s): William Shu, Greg Orlowski Year Founded: 2012
Deliveroo is one of the world’s largest food delivery companies that is not based in the United States. However, it was founded by an American named William Shu who moved to London to start the business.
The company, despite being embroiled in various legal battles and scandals, has managed to go public in March 2021. It managed to raise £1.5 billion during its IPO on top of the ~ £1.4 billion it previously raised in venture funding.
Today, Deliveroo is available in 11 markets across the world, including Australia (where it competes against DoorDash), Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and more.
In 2021, Deliveroo generated £1.8 billion in revenue (up from the £1.2 billion it did in 2020). The service, whose iOS app has been reviewed around 1.6 million times, works together with 160,000 restaurants and 110,000 couriers.
Headquarters: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Founder(s): Dan Katz, Kevin Sherman, Leon Kamenev Year Founded: 2006
Menulog is the leading food delivery service in Australia and New Zealand, working together with leading brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Nando’s, Subway, and others. The company is solely focused on food delivery.
In 2015, months after its merger with EatNow (to create Menulog Group Limited), Menulog was sold to JustEat for AU$855 million. Menulog is now part of the Just Eat Takeaway.com network, which spans 205,000 restaurants across the globe.
For the fiscal year 2020, the company generated AU$3.7 billion in revenue (an increase of 54 percent from the year prior). The company, which employs over 15,000 people, now works together with 35,000 restaurants. Its iOS app has been reviewed more than 450,000 times so far.
Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland Founder(s): Elias Aalto, Juhani Mykkänen, Lauri Andler, Mika Matikainen, Miki Kuusi, Oskari Petas Year Founded: 2014
Wolt is two things: it is a) one of the biggest competitors to DoorDash in Japan and b) actually part of the DoorDash family. In November 2021, DoorDash acquired the Finish food delivery service for a whopping $8.1 billion.
Wolt delivers food in 23 countries across the globe, predominantly across Europe and (Central) Asia. It expanded into Japan and added grocery delivery in 2020, the year it became a unicorn. The company previously raised $822.5 million from investors.
Wolt, which employs more than 4,500 people, was reported to have generated $330 million in revenue across 2020. More than 90,000 couriers deliver food and groceries on its platform. Another 45,000 merchants work together with Wolt.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States Founder(s): Abel Lin, Andy Zhang, Jason Wang, Richard Din, Shawn Tsao Year Founded: 2012
Caviar is another food delivery business that DoorDash spent some significant dough on to acquire. In March 2019, it purchased the business from Square (now BLOK) for $410 million.
Square had previously acquired Caviar in August 2014 for $90 million in stock. The service, despite claims from Caviar employees that Square and DoorDash were mistreating them over acquisition offers, remains a meaningful player in the North American market.
Caviar continues to employ around 400 people. Moreover, its iOS app has been reviewed around 150,000 times.
Headquarters: Istanbul, Turkey Founder(s): Arkady Volozh, Mert Salur, Nazım Salur, Serkan Borançılı, Tuncay Tütek Year Founded: 2015
Getir revolutionized the industry of grocery delivery. The company works together with local warehouse operators to be able to deliver groceries within 10 minutes.
It, furthermore, competes both directly and indirectly with DoorDash. Getir recently entered the United States after having raised $1.8 billion in funding. Across Europe, it competes with entities of DoorDash. In December 2021, DoorDash invested $750 into Berlin-based grocery delivery service Flink, which competes with Getir across different European countries.
Getir is certainly one to watch out for in the coming years. The company has proven that it can successfully expand into new markets. In 2021, the company, which is valued at over $11 billion, generated around $1 billion in revenue. It employs more than 1,000 people on top of that. Getir operates in all 81 cities in Turkey and 48 cities across Europe and the United States.
P.S.: here’s the business model case study of Getir
DoorDash Competitive Advantage
DoorDash possesses various competitive advantages such as having a wide selection of business lines, owning multiple other businesses, and being founder-led.
A quick look at the above-mentioned business model case study highlights how well diversified DoorDash as a company is. It generates income through commissions, subscription fees, white-label logistics services, loans, advertising, and more.
DoorDash, in this regard, is heavily inspired by Amazon. The Seattle-based online marketplace uses the profits it generates from its AWS business to funnel into its core eCommerce segment as well as new subsidiaries it launches.
DoorDash is also gunning for alternative (and potentially higher-margin) business cases. It can then use those profits and funnel them into less profitable ones. Food and grocery delivery, in particular, often requires platforms to invest a lot into advertising and discounts, which severely diminishes profits.
Likewise, DoorDash profits from diversifying its business through market expansions and acquisitions. Its $8.1 billion purchase of Wolt, for example, provided DoorDash with 23 additional countries. In markets where DoorDash essentially competes against itself (but that still have enough players), such as Japan, it could close down Wolt’s business, which would decrease its advertising spend and other associated costs.
DoorDash, furthermore, can utilize the data it gathers from those businesses and apply the learnings it derives to its core market in the United States.
Lastly, DoorDash remains founder-led, which shouldn’t be underestimated. After all, research shows that firms led by their founders often outperform the ones that aren’t.