British food delivery firm Deliveroo has today announced plans to launch its much anticipated London listing after recording a surge in business during the Covid-19 pandemic, although it still posted a loss for 2020. 

The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to value Deliveroo at more than $7 billion, based on a private funding round it completed in January.

It will be one of the largest London listings in several years. 

The company published a registration document and an expected "intention to float" - which signals the start of the listing process - today, capping what has been a busy start to the London IPO season. 

In an accompanying trading update, the company said it had grown the total number of transactions processed on its online platform by 64.3% last year to £4.1 billion from £2.5 billion in 2019. 

It also narrowed an underlying loss to £223.7m from £317.3m in 2019. 

"Today, Deliveroo is so much bigger than I ever would have thought possible," founder and chief executive Will Shu said in the trading update. 

"We are building delivery-only kitchens, delivering groceries, building tools for restaurants to take them into the digital age - things I never contemplated when we launched," he added.

The company confirmed it plans to use a dual-class share structure that will give Shu more control over the company. 

This means it will have a "standard" listing upon entry into the London Stock Exchange, rather than a premium one, excluding it from the FTSE indices. 

However, this could change if recommendations made in a recent review of listing rules by former EU Commissioner Jonathan Hill are implemented. 

"It's obviously great news that Deliveroo, a global technology leader, born and bred in the UK, has chosen to list here," Hill said in a statement provided by Deliveroo.

"The changes we recommended would make it easier for more companies to follow Deliveroo's lead, sending out a message that London is open for business," he added.