Back in 2019, GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney was coming to grips with a new reality. “We believe online diners are becoming more promiscuous,” he wrote to shareholders after a particularly mediocre quarter.
Grubhub had spent years as the market leader in restaurant delivery. But by fall 2019, it was no longer on top. Earlier that year, DoorDash overtook GrubHub in sales for the first time ever. And competitive pressure was closing in from all sides.
Uber had gone public just months before and was flush with cash, which was good news for Uber Eats, its delivery service. And these competitors were doing everything they could to win our delivery dollars and investor funding.
The fight for consumers — promiscuous or not — was on.
In this episode of Land of the Giants: Delivery Wars, our podcast collaboration with Recode, we track the rise of the biggest third-party apps and how they’ve become giants in the industry, from the point of view of the people who built them — investors, executives, founders — and what motivated the key decisions that changed how delivery works and changed how we eat.
Listen to episode two to hear more about how these brands got started, the investors that supercharged them, and the lengths they went to in order to reach the scale they needed to dominate the industry.