E88: Deliveroo Founder - From £0 to £5 Billion: Will Shu

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By The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett and The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Deliveroo, wow this company is HUGE! I’m sure most of you would have used it but do you know anything about the guy behind it? My guest this week is Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo. Born in 1979, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, Shu grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. His mother, a scientist, and father, who worked in insurancem. He founded Deliveroo in 2013 with childhood friend and software engineer Greg Orlowski.
Deliveroo operated in London for the first two years, growing via word of mouth. It now operates in 12 countries and more than 200 cities. Deliveroo is worth £5 billion, becoming Europes fastest growing company with 2,000+ employees. In mid-June 2016, Will and Greg received an award for the Best Startup Founders as part of The Europas Startup Conference and Awards, mainly given to technology companies. The company also received Fastest Rising Startup of the Year and the Europas Grand Prix award.

In December 2017, a study by macroeconomic consultancy Capital Economics revealed that Deliveroo had helped create 7,200 jobs across the restaurant sector since it launched in 2013. It also boosted the industry's revenue by £460 million in the year to June 2017. The report also found that Deliveroo had helped add £372 million in value to the UK economy in the same 12-month period, a figure which Capital Economics projects to rise to £1.5 billion in the year to June 2019.
By mid 2020, Deliveroo had not benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic, when demand for food delivery from restaurants and takeaways surged. Deliveroo reported to be cutting 367 jobs (and furloughing 50 more) from its workforce of 2,500. Will talks about how hard this decision was that the time in today podcast.

Will is an incredible entrepreneur, one thats a far cry from the usual braggadocios CEO of a multi billion dollar company. He’s a humble person and lives a very modest lifestyle saying his life hasn’t change much at all since the early days of Deliveroo. This is conversation proved to me that you don’t have to be born an entrepreneur.
This weeks topics:
  • Your early years
  • What made you take on this industry?
  • Your riders being discriminated against
  • The name of the company at the start
  • Your co-founder
  • What were some of your hardest challenges?
  • Your mental health journey
  • One of my hardest moments in Delieveroo
  • What do you do to relax?
  • Challenges of having a romantic relationship as a CEO
  • Delieveroo's IPO journey
  • I still do deliveries
  • Your thinking around competition
  • Money
  • What are you aiming for?

Will:

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132 episodes