Food delivery service Deliveroo has joined the latest trend in boosting staff engagement and productivity by announcing it will make all employees shareholders of the business.
The global technology company, which was established in 2013, has a 2,000-strong workforce worldwide, including 80 employees based in its four Australian offices, demonstrating the scale of change in food deliveries in recent years.
In a message sent to its workers, CEO and founder Will Shu said that he wanted all staff “to be owners” of the business and thus have a vested interest in ensuring its ongoing success.
He described the share options as his “way of thanking staff at the company a way of making sure this truly is our company in every way.”
“Employees at Deliveroo have made the company what it is today, and what sets us apart is our immense hunger to win, strong focus and care and a clear vision for the future,” said Mr Shu.
“Our phenomenal growth and success has been made possible thanks to the hard work, commitment and passion of the people who make this company what it is, and that deserves recognition, which is why I want all employees to be owners in Deliveroo and to have a real stake in the company’s future as we expand and grow.”
The move will be worth around $18 million.
Stock options has long been a means of rewarding senior employees in lieu of, or in addition to, cash rewards. However it is also a method that can be extended to a business’ entire workforce, or can be used as a business exit strategy to ensure the owner’s legacy remains in the hands of those who helped to build it.
Since its launch, Deliveroo has raised $1.2 billion in capital, taking its market capitalisation to some $2.6 billion. By the end of 2018, it is forecasting to have added almost 600 jobs in the last two years.
Despite its name having an obvious Australian connotation, Deliveroo is actually a British company headquartered in London. It operates in around 200 cities across 12 countries, predominantly in Europe but also in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Australia.
Deliveroo’s main competitor, Uber Eats, is currently under investigation by the ACCC for alleged unfair contract provisions, although its scope may expand given the ACCC’s concerns that “third-party delivery services can place unreasonable conditions on small business”.