British meal delivery platform Deliveroo said on Sunday it had raised $ 180 million from existing shareholders, valuing the company more than $ 7 billion (£ 5.15 billion) before a possible IPO.
"This fundraising will allow Deliveroo to continue to invest to stimulate its growth", especially in the delivery of food shopping, the company said in a press release.
The operation "precedes a possible IPO", indicates the group, thus confirming its plan to enter the stock market, after press reports to this effect this week.
The British channel Sky News had mentioned Wednesday a possible listing of Deliveroo on the London Stock Exchange around the month of April.
Deliveroo, headquartered in London, works with 140,000 restaurants in 800 cities around the world and has some 110,000 delivery people in 12 markets, recognizable by the towering green backpacks they wear while cycling the streets.
Its social practices have, however, often been singled out because of the precariousness of the employment contracts of delivery men, which has earned it a protest movement from its couriers in France and a court conviction in Spain.
The company, which has 2,000 employees, has in particular quickly strengthened its food shopping delivery offer, on which it relies heavily, through partnerships with the British supermarkets Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Aldi and the French Carrefour.
In addition, more than 46,000 restaurants, deprived of activity due to multiple closures, joined the platform in 2020.