Deals

With GrubHub merger as an appetizer, Seamless preps for an IPO main course

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Wallets and waistlines, watch out. The biggest online food delivery service may be going public.

GrubHub Seamless — the new name of the combined firm after GrubHub and Seamless merged — is gearing up for an initial public offering by late 2014 or early 2015, reports The Deal.

Sources tell The Deal that GrubHub Seamless management has had discussions about a potential IPO, but at this point we have few details to go on. But given Twitter’s successful IPO yesterday, as well as a slew of other smaller tech IPOs lately, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the delivery firm follow suit.

The news comes just six months after New York City-based Seamless merged with Chicago-based GrubHub, its biggest competitor, to form an online food ordering giant. The combined firm now operates as “GrubHub Seamless,” though the two services still operate separately. Prior to that deal, GrubHub was also reportedly exploring an IPO of its own. Now GrubHub’s former chief executive Matt Maloney is serving as the head of GrubHub Seamless.

Founded in 1999, Seamless has become popular in metropolitan areas for simplifying takeout and delivery ordering from restaurants. It’s faster and more secure than calling a phone number, and there’s also less of a chance that a restaurant will mishear your order as you’re placing it. You also pay for orders with your credit card through Seamless’s site and mobile apps, which means you don’t have to exchange any cash when a delivery person arrives. It’s an easier delivery process for consumers, and it gives restaurants a simple online presence (though they have to pay Seamless a small fee for every order).

While popular with young professionals and families, Seamless also has a large enterprise customer base (it’s a pretty easy way to get lunch for everyone in the office or to cater for people working late). With the rise of smartphones, Seamless’s service has also become even more useful, allowing you to easily set up a delivery order before you get home.

Sources tell The Deal that Seamless’s 2012 revenue was around $85 million. And now that it has joined up with GrubHub, it expects to see a combined revenue of $200 million this year. According to Seamless’s site, the company now has more than 2 million users and serves more than 12,000 restaurants in 40 cities.