Judging by the response to recent stock offerings from consumer tech companies, Postmates will likely face a skeptical reception for its planned IPO. While the on-demand meal delivery service has earned a passionate following in places like Los Angeles, the company is unprofitable at a moment when public investors have soured on money-losing tech ventures. The fact that Postmates is in a war of attrition with better-financed, bigger rivals like DoorDash could also add to investor unease.
The task of selling public investors on the Postmates story will fall to Bastian Lehmann, the German entrepreneur who was little known in the San Francisco tech scene when he co-founded the company there in 2011 and who has never led a public company. Yet Lehmann has also been a polished public pitchman for Postmates who has styled himself an innovator in his category, spearheading autonomous delivery robots and a subscription program later copied by competitors.