Postmates' Path Forward with Bastian Lehmann (Postmates) | Summary and Q&A

October 4, 2019
YouTube video player
Postmates' Path Forward with Bastian Lehmann (Postmates)

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts


In this video, the CEO of Postmates discusses various topics such as the company's past, IPO plans, profitability, competition, robotics, and the future vision for Postmates.

Questions & Answers

Q: Can you share your experience pitching at TechCrunch Battlefield in 2011?

During the pitch, there was a live demo planned, but it went horribly wrong. The app crashed, the props were misplaced, and I was very close to crying. However, despite the failed demo, we still won the competition.

Q: What is the status of Postmates' IPO filing?

The IPO filing is currently missing, but we plan to go public and are waiting for the right time in the market. The current market conditions for growth companies are a bit choppy, so we want to find a window that will be favorable for our IPO.

Q: Was the recent fundraising round an effort to downsize IPO expectations?

No, the fundraising round was opportunistic and not related to downsizing IPO expectations. We raised more money because we believed it was the right time and had made great progress as a business.

Q: When do you expect Postmates to become a profitable company?

Profitability is a managed outcome, and we believe it will happen. In September 2018, we were almost profitable, but instead of focusing on profitability, we decided to raise more money and invest it with healthy unit economics. We see profitability as a long-term goal.

Q: What are your thoughts on the lackluster performance of recent tech IPOs like Uber and Lyft?

While it's unfortunate that some IPOs didn't meet expectations, it's essential to remember that the success of a company impacts not just the founders but also the employees who work tirelessly. We need to understand the value of equity in our ecosystem and how it benefits many people who take risks early on in startups.

Q: Has Postmates been approached by competitors like Uber and DoorDash for a potential acquisition?

While discussions and conversations may happen in the industry, it's not productive to speculate on M&A. The strengths and weaknesses of each player are well-known, and consolidation in the market is expected at some point.

Q: Why has DoorDash raised more funding than Postmates?

DoorDash's larger funding amount may be due to its specific needs and strategies. The amount raised doesn't necessarily indicate superiority. Each company has its own path, and the focus should be on the value they provide to customers.

Q: What are your thoughts on SoftBank's role in funding your competitors?

SoftBank's funding has both positive and negative aspects. While it provided necessary capital for companies to stay private for longer, it also led to potentially unrealistic valuations. These valuations need to be justified to later investors and may need a longer recovery period.

Q: Would you have entered the food delivery space knowing what you know now about its competitiveness?

Yes, absolutely. While the food delivery space is highly competitive, I am grateful to be part of a company that made it past the initial stages. It's a remarkable feeling to see a company grow and tackle various challenges along the way.

Q: How much money has Postmates invested in autonomous delivery efforts?

The amount invested in autonomous delivery efforts is insignificant compared to $100 million. Rather than acquiring existing companies, we made smart hires and built the autonomous delivery technology in-house.

Q: How will the autonomous delivery robots, called Serve, work in practice?

Serve robots will no longer require cars and can drive out of a depot. While they will continue to be partially operated by humans in the near future, the goal is to make them fully autonomous. Serve can significantly reduce delivery costs, and as the technology progresses, it will free up resources for other tasks.

Q: Will the introduction of autonomous delivery robots result in job cuts?

Rather than drastic job cuts, Serve robots will augment the current workforce and allow Postmates to expand its capabilities. As the transition to autonomous delivery happens over time, resources will be reallocated within the company.

Q: Where is Postmates testing its autonomous delivery robots, and when can we expect widespread use?

The autonomous delivery robots are currently being tested in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Postmates is interested in testing them in cities like New York, where specific use cases, such as deliveries to doormen, can be explored. The goal is to create a platform that can be open-sourced and further developed by others.

Q: Why did Postmates design the Serve robots to have human-like features?

The design choices, such as the height and face with expressive eyes, were made to create a positive and curious interaction with humans. These design elements make Serve more approachable and enhance the overall experience of interacting with the robot.

Q: What is the long-term vision for Postmates and the Serve robots?

Postmates aims to create an open-source platform that allows developers to contribute and build upon the autonomous delivery technology. The goal is to make Serve robots more than just pizza delivery machines and have them be a part of various industries, making significant contributions to society.


In this video, the CEO of Postmates discusses their past, IPO plans, profitability, competition, robotics, and future vision. Despite a failed live demo during a pitch event years ago, Postmates has gone on to become a successful company. The IPO filing is still pending, but they plan to find the right time in the market to go public. While profitability is a managed outcome, they believe in focusing on growth and investing strategically. The CEO recognizes the challenges faced by other tech IPOs and the importance of equity in the ecosystem. Postmates has been approached by competitors for potential acquisitions, but no specifics were confirmed. They have invested in developing their own autonomous delivery robots, called Serve, and are testing them in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The goal is to augment the current workforce and expand delivery capabilities. The long-term vision for Postmates is to create an open-source platform where developers can contribute and build upon the Serve robots.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from TechCrunch 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: