- DoorDash recorded a 69% jump in revenue from 2020 to 2021, totaling $4.89 billion for the year, according to the company's full-year 2021 earnings results. Fourth-quarter revenue hit $1.3 billion, and the company predicts transactions could total up to $50 billion this year — $8 billion more than it snagged in 2021.
- The platform's losses grew too, increasing to $468 million for 2021 compared to 2020. DoorDash CFO Prabir Adarkar attributed this increase to the company's expansion into new verticals and investment in international growth.
- DoorDash's 2021 performance exceeded analyst expectations, driving its shares up by 30% on Wednesday and 16% Thursday. The platform's aggressive expansion into new verticals and acquisition of international competitors builds on its leading market share in the U.S. delivery market.
While DoorDash operates in a growing number of delivery categories, most recently launching 30-minute grocery delivery with Albertsons and entering the same-day flower delivery market, it has also been focused on sweetening its value proposition for partner restaurants.
Last week, the company announced the creation of DoorDash Capital, a cash advance service for delivery partners that can help cover business expenses like payroll, equipment purchases, marketing, rent and hiring. DoorDash is the first of the big three delivery firms, including Uber Eats and Grubhub, to offer operators such financing, and it could be a powerful differentiator as restaurants struggle to source financial support in the absence of federal aid — especially as labor and supply chain pressures continue to gnaw at bottom lines.
The company has made several major changes to its policies and offerings for restaurant partners since the pandemic began in a bid to retain eateries as third-party alternatives, like Slice and ChowNow, gained steam thanks to their commission-free models. DoorDash offerings throughout the past two years include $2 million in cold weather grants, turnkey websites for partner restaurants, and an "accelerator" program that gives select restaurateurs financial support and special educational resources.
It's possible these investments also buoyed the aggregator's full-year 2021 and Q4 2021.The platform's success also hints at prolonged elevated diner demand for off-premise experiences — DoorDash snagged 369 million orders in Q4, coming in 8 million higher than analyst projections. Gross order value also increased 36% year-over-year to $11.2 billion for the period.
DoorDash is also giving major chains more flexibility. The company lowered commission fees for McDonald's orders, but will also institute a penalty in 2023 if McDonald's stores make delivery drivers wait for more than four minutes. If a store makes a driver wait more than seven minutes, DoorDash will charge a 17.6% fee on standard delivery orders and 20.1% on DashPass orders. The penalty could help DoorDash regain some of the revenue lost by decreasing the Golden Arches' fees while still retaining a massive legacy partner.