Four years in and just getting started

Four years ago today we officially launched DoorDash. As we have in the past, we wanted to reflect on the past few years and where we’re headed in the future.

4 min read
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By Tony Xu, CEO and Co-Founder

Four years ago today we officially launched DoorDash. As we have in the past, we wanted to reflect on the past few years and where we’re headed in the future.

It probably goes without saying that the DoorDash leading up to June 2013 was very different from the DoorDash of today. Our original name was Palo Alto Delivery. The only Dashers were the co-founders. We didn’t have much in the ways of a logistics operation, so we relied on Google Voice, the “Find my Friends” app, and our cars to fulfill orders. Our office was Stanford student housing. Our marketing was fliers on dorm bulletin boards.

Four years later and DoorDash has touched the lives of millions of families, whether by offering convenience during a busy day, providing flexible work, or bringing new customers to their business. Today, people in more than 500 cities can order deliveries from more than 59,000 restaurants listed on DoorDash. More than 100,000 Dashers across the US and Canada fulfill millions of deliveries per month and our full-time headcount has grown to 400 people.

Over the past few years DoorDash has also grown to become the industry standard in on-demand delivery, with dozens of the biggest restaurants in the US choosing DoorDash as their delivery partner of choice. Wendy’s. Taco Bell. Dunkin’ Donuts. Buffalo Wild Wings. Jack in the Box, The Cheesecake Factory. Carl’s Jr. Red Robin. Household names from near and far now call the DoorDash app their home for delivery. And while we’ve delivered in large cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco for years, we’ve recently expanded into smaller metro areas as well, bringing on cities around Milwaukee, Cincinnati, the Inland Empire, and Boulder, in the past few months alone.

But what’s even more exciting to us is not how much we’ve accomplished; it’s what we have left to do. As we look to the years ahead, we’re working to further our goal of transforming local commerce by offering a wider range of delivery options, by innovating in the tools for last-mile delivery, and by building out our platform to serve an even broader set of use cases.

Today, DoorDash has become the world’s largest food court. But for us, food is only the first piece of the puzzle. With delivery from partners like BevMo and 7-Eleven we’ve already taken our first steps toward expanding DoorDash to deliver from additional categories. In the future we’ll be partnering with merchants large and small to enable online ordering with delivery in under an hour rather than two days, while supporting the local businesses in your neighborhood.

Today, Dashers on the DoorDash platform use their cars, bikes, or scooters to complete deliveries. While those work for the majority of use cases, we’re pushing the envelope to develop new and innovative ways to get your orders to you as quickly, easily, and efficiently as possible. That includes testing new technologies like robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. It also means helping superhero Dashers develop bionic powers, like arming them with electric bikes for their deliveries. And when restaurants are too far away to deliver from, we’re going to explore ways to bring those restaurants physically closer to customers.

Today, the most common way customers use DoorDash is through the app or website, placing orders for family dinners or an office snack. In the coming months we’ll announce updates to DoorDash Drive to more seamlessly integrate with restaurant operations so they can offer more of their menu to more customers. We’ll also be rolling out new products for large restaurant chains and offering new ways to place big catering orders for offices or parties.

Building the last mile for commerce has always been about solving trade-offs. You can either deliver things faster or you can offer a larger selection. You can either grow quickly or you can build a company with compassion. At DoorDash we don’t think about “either/or” – we believe in “and.” Over the past four years we’ve brought together the best selection of restaurants and offered an incredible service that customers love. As we celebrate our birthday, we will build on that strong foundation and innovate on all three sides of the marketplace, so that in the years to come we will be the best platform for merchants, Dashers and customers.

And finally, I want to say a big thank you to the DoorDash team. Watching everyone grow and stretch to become the best version of themselves is inspiring. The tenacity, authenticity, and culture of excellence we stand for and uphold is what has turned a dorm room project into a movement that is bigger than all of us.