Uber in the U.S. is financing the development of its business through revenues from its passenger transport segment. The UK's Deliveroo is cautious, avoiding acquisitions in favor of organic growth, particularly in France and the UK.

In contrast, Germany's Delivery Hero and the Netherlands' Just Eat have bitten off more than they can chew, constantly raising capital to invest in aggressive external growth strategies, with Asia in their sights for the former, and North America for the latter.

Just Eat is technically on the verge of bankruptcy, while Delivery Hero's situation looks little better, despite spectacular growth. Its sales, after all, have quadrupled in just three years.

Earlier this month, the German group issued a press release announcing strong sales growth and a commitment to achieve profitability - based, of course, on "adjusted" EBITDA - by the end of the year in Germany. - before the end of the current year.

The fuller financial results published yesterday tell a different story. On an unadjusted basis, the operating loss before depreciation and amortization reached EUR270 million. On a consolidated basis, the loss reached EUR820 million, and cash burn remains significant.

It is fair to say, however, that the Group recognized the urgency of the situation. The Group burned through more than a billion euros last year, more than half of it in the first half. In the first six months of 2023, cash burn has been reduced to around EUR300 million.

The promise of a return to the black in the second half of the year must be greeted with caution, as the free cash flow reported by Delivery Hero does not include the cost of debt or stock option remuneration.

Taken together, these two expense items can quickly add up to several hundred million euros.