DoorDash, however, is no longer burning through cash. In the first nine months of the year, its business generated $315 million of cash; in the same period of 2019, it consumed $308 million of cash.
DoorDash faces labor questions because of its use of contractors. This month, the company notched a political win with the passage of Proposition 22, a California ballot measure that exempted it, Uber, Lyft and others from a law that would have required them to treat their drivers as employees.
The company is also dealing with steep competition and consolidation in food delivery, where customers, restaurants and drivers are not particularly loyal to one competing service over another. DoorDash’s prospectus named four major competitors and said its “fragmented and intensely competitive” market was a risk for investors.
In June, rival Grubhub agreed to sell itself to Just Eat Takeaway, a European service, for $7.3 billion. A month later, Uber acquired Postmates, a smaller competitor, for $2.65 billion. DoorDash had entertained deal talks with Postmates, Uber and Grubhub over the last year, but has remained independent.
As social distancing rules have continued, restaurants have struggled to make ends meet on delivery apps. In April, DoorDash temporarily cut its primary fees for independent restaurants, which it said cost it around $120 million. On Thursday, it announced a $200 million pledge for programs to help restaurants and delivery drivers.
DoorDash was created by Mr. Xu, its chief executive, along with Stanley Tang, Andy Fang and Evan Moore in a business school class project at Stanford University in 2013. The company, attracting critics and struggling to raise funding in its early days, has not followed a smooth trajectory.