A lot can change in a year. In January, Uber Technologies was still in the hot seat for its years of scandal and infamy. It took money from SoftBank Group at a blended $54 billion valuation, an embarrassing markdown for the ride-hailing titan. A few months later, on-demand darling Munchery laid off 30% of its staff, and packaging service Shyp shut its doors for good. This followed the demise of a litany of other food-delivery upstarts like Maple, Sprig and SpoonRocket.
All told, it wasn’t looking good for on-demand startups, widely assumed to be overhyped and overleveraged. But as the year wore on, investors started to see the light.