Will Shu talks about the workers’ rights litigation that threatens $2 billion Deliveroo

will shu deliveroo

Deliveroo founder Will Shu talked to Business Insider about the looming workers’ rights case that threatens the gig economy model of his massive food delivery startup.
He also talked about whether he might take Deliveroo public in an IPO.
The company is handing out helmet cams to deter the brutal attacks on his riders.
And, he tells us, he once worked for Just Eat as a delivery guy in order to see what his company was up against.

On Sundays in London, former Morgan Stanley banker William Shu gets on his bicycle and delivers pizzas, a job that pays about £10 an hour.

Shu is the CEO of Deliveroo, and his company is now worth $2 billion (£1.5 billion). Shu says that he has only ever been recognised by a customer once, when he delivered to a colleague he used to work with at an investment fund. “I hadn’t talked to him in like three years,” Shu told Business Insider recently. “He didn’t understand that I started the company. He just thought I was a delivery guy … He was just like, hey, what are you doing? I didn’t have time to talk to him. I said hey, I gotta go.”

The man then started contacting mutual friends, asking, “I’m pretty sure Will delivered a pizza to me a few weeks ago, and there’s no explanation.”

There is no parallel among other tech unicorns, either. Having your pizza delivered by the CEO of Deliveroo is the British equivalent of having your books hand-delivered to your house by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Shu is hardcore about getting food delivered right. He got the idea for the company when he was working at Morgan Stanley in London. If he needed lunch or dinner at his desk, the “system” for ordering food consisted of a giant, messy bundle of takeout menus from local restaurants. There was no way to know what was good or bad, or which places were known for delivering promptly or not. How has this simple problem not been solved yet, he thought.

Now, Deliveroo is approaching a huge turning point, whether Shu likes it or not.

Shu and his board are hinting heavily that they might be preparing for an IPO. At the same time, the company is warily watching litigation work its way through the British courts that could upend its “gig economy” business model.

Like Uber, the people who deliver services for the company aren’t classed as actual employees. They’re freelancers, paid by the job. In November, a UK employment tribunal handed down an appeal ruling saying that Uber’s drivers should be treated as employees — a decision that could guarantee them minimum wage and paid time off for sickness and holidays, among a host of other old-economy benefits. Deliveroo won a similar case, brought by 45 of its riders, but who knows what an appeal — or a change of law from government — might bring.

On the other hand, things couldn’t look better for Britain’s biggest unicorn: It has taken a …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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