In a sea of food delivery apps, Postmates stands out not because of its business or employment model, but because of its tentativeness towards food delivery. Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann has repeatedly said he runs an on-demand logistics platform, and “food to Postmates is what books were to Amazon”.

At launch, Postmates marketed itself as the new Craigslist. Buyers in San Francisco could have anything, from flowers to refrigerators, delivered in two to four hours. It was primarily targeted at small businesses, and took a few years to pivot to consumers.

For the first two years, Postmates survived payment to payment, without the yearly billion dollar funding rounds we see today. In 2013, the Founder’s Fund invested $5 million, which legitimized the industry and caused a wave of further investments. A few months later, DoorDash and Instacart would both land large series A rounds.

Food delivery shouldn’t have worked on Postmates. It had a flat $9.99 delivery fee, while its rivals Grubhub and DoorDash offered delivery for $3-6, depending on the area. However, in California people were more than willing to pay the delivery charge to have their favourites delivered.

In 2015, Postmates finally lowered its delivery fee to $3.99 for preferred merchants, who would be featured prominently on the platform. It also was the first to launch a pro service, Unlimited, which would waiver the delivery charge for all orders over $30 for $9.99 a month.

Due to its start as more of a logistics platform, Postmates has been more well received by drivers than DoorDash and Uber Eats. Drivers have said Postmates pays more per hour, although others have said there is less work to be had compared to rival platforms.

Postmates has courted some controversy for its ‘deliver everything’ mantra, often going against the wishes of restaurants and businesses. In 2015, several business owners complained about Postmates taking delivery orders without receiving permission.

As more on-demand delivery services launched, Postmates saw its market share tumble, as Uber Eats and DoorDash supplanted Grubhub. It continued to see growth in some cities, like Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC, but was far behind the leaders in total US market share.

In 2018, DoorDash attempted to merge the two companies, to fend off Grubhub and Uber Eats. Postmates declined the offer, which led to DoorDash acquiring Caviar from Square.

Two years later, Postmates sided with Uber, when it was acquired for $2.65 billion.

Postmates is still available on the app store and, for the time being, will remain a separate entity. Whether Uber folds it into Eats, or launches a new app focused on non-food items, remains to be seen.

Postmates Overview

Launch date1 May 2011
HQSan Francisco, California
PeopleBastian Lehman (CEO), Sean Plaice (CTO), Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber CEO)
Business typeSubsidiary
Parent companyUber
IndustryFood delivery

Postmates Revenue

2014$8.6 million
2015$55 million
2016$135 million
2017$250 million
2018$400 million
2019$500 million

Sources: TechCrunch, Re/Code, The Information

Postmates Profit

2014$1 million
2015($47 million)
2016($60 million)
2017($75 million)

Sources: TechCrunch, QZ, Re/Code

Postmates Valuation

2015$0.4 billion
2016$0.6 billion
2018$1.8 billion
2019$2.4 billion
2020$2.6 billion

Sources: Business Insider, Crunchbase

Postmates Total Raised

2012$1.2 million
2014$22 million
2015$137 million
2016$277 million
2018$577 million
2019$902 million

Note: Uber paid $2.65 billion to acquire Postmates in 2020. 

Source: Crunchbase

Postmates Deliveries Per Month

20161.5 million
20184 million
20205 million

Sources: Startup Grind, Skift, TechCrunch

Postmates Merchants


Sources: Postmates, (2)

Postmates Cities


Sources: Eater, Fortune

Postmates Market Share


Note: Percentages may be inflated due to Postmates also delivering non-food goods. 

Sources: Rakuten, Re/Code, Second Measure

Postmates US competitors: Food Delivery Market Share

Postmates other stats:

  • Postmates has approximately 10 million monthly active users (NYT)
  • It surpassed $1 billion in total sales volume in 2018 (CNBC)
  • Postmates completes five million deliveries every month (TechCrunch)
  • Postmates has 500,000 merchants on its platform, more than current market leader DoorDash
  • 17 percent of Postmates customers subscribe to its Unlimited service (Second Measure)
  • Postmates is responsible for eight percent of all food deliveries in the US (Second Measure), making it the fourth largest supplier in the country
  • Uber Eats acquired Postmates for $2.65 billion in July 2020 (The Verge). DoorDash had discussed merging with Postmates in 2018 (Re/Code) to fend off Uber Eats
  • Combined, Uber Eats and Postmates control 36 percent of the US food delivery market, which makes them the second largest distributor
  • Postmates is available in 4,200 cities in the US. It ended operations in Mexico in 2019 (Reuters)

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