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Postmates CEO Cites Market Conditions For Delayed IPO

A choppy market for growth companies is to blame for Postmates not dropping its S-1 yet, according to CEO Bastian Lehmann.

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The startup submitted a confidential IPO filing in February, and there were reports that its S-1 would come out in September. But September has passed, and people (read: journalists) are asking: where is Postmates’ S-1?

“I’m asking myself the same question every day,” Lehmann said at TechCrunch’s annual Disrupt conference on Friday.

“The reality is that we will IPO when we believe we find the right time for the business and the right time in the markets,” Lehmann said.

He cited public market conditions–he called them“choppy” especially for growth-focused companies–as the reason for Postmates taking its time with its IPO. He wouldn’t say if the IPO would come in 2019, but said it depended more on the “macro” than the company’s own particular readiness to go public.

This year has seen many high-profile startups go public (Uber, Lyft, Peloton) and Postmates was expected to be among the Class of 2019. But many of those startups have seen lackluster results on the public market. Uber and Lyft stocks set record lows earlier this week, and WeWork pulled its IPO after a string of problems came to light last month.

Postmates has raised $906.5 million in total financing, according to Crunchbase. It most recently raised $225 million in September in a private equity round led by GPI Capital. The company, which was founded in 2011, counts Tiger Global Management and BlackRock among its investors.

Lehmann said the company knows internally when it will be profitable, and that its most recent investment from GPI Capital was an “opportunistic” round.

Friday also marked Lehmann’s return to TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference after several years of absence. He tweeted Wednesday that he hadn’t been back to Disrupt since “totally butchering” Postmates’ battlefield demo in 2011. (He returned at least once in between, in London.)

The on-demand delivery startup is also looking to have robots make deliveries. It debuted its robot, named Serve, last year and in August Postmates received a permit to test it in San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Postmates is already testing Serve in the Los Angeles area and would like to test it in New York, Lehmann said.

Postmates didn’t spend as much on developing robotics as one would think, Lehmann said. Postmates spent less developing it in-house than it would have by acquiring another company.

Illustration Credit: Li-Anne Dias

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