A Deliveroo rider cycles through central London. – AFP

LONDON: Deliveroo shares rose yesterday on the takeaway app’s first full trading day, in contrast to last week’s London stock market launch when they crashed after being snubbed by institutional investors. Deliveroo shares gained 2.7 percent to 287.65 pence, giving the group a market value of £5.3 billion ($7.3 billion, 6.2 billion euros), as small investors joined in the trading.

It coincided with a number of Deliveroo riders striking over pay and conditions across a handful of English cities. “The start of unconditional trading in Deliveroo-recast as Flopperoo in some quarters after its disastrous market debut-at least hasn’t led to more pain for the business,” noted AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.

“A strike by riders though will keep the takeaways platform in the spotlight for the wrong reasons on Wednesday.” Deliveroo’s initial public offering on March 31 was London’s biggest stock market launch for a decade, valuing the group at £7.6 billion, after the eight-year-old company enjoyed surging sales during the coronavirus pandemic as locked-down people ordered in.

But its IPO of 390 pence failed spectacularly, with the group losing 26 percent of its value on its first conditional trading day. The group faced criticism from some institutional investors over the treatment of self-employed riders. Deliveroo maintains that its riders-around 100,000 across 800 cities worldwide-value the flexibility the job affords.

However, its business model has come under scrutiny, including in Britain, France and Spain, over conditions. Group founder and chief executive Will Shu has also been criticized for adopting a dual class share structure that gives him 20 votes per share compared with one vote per share for all other stockholders. Deliveroo made a portion of its stock available for customers, with delivery riders and restaurant partners also able to participate. – AFP