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Chicago-based GrubHub orders up an IPO

CHICAGO – Online delivery company GrubHub plans to raise up to $100 million through an initial public offering.

The startup was founded in 2004, making its name catering to college students and through its quirky social media activities. In August it completed a combination with rival Seamless for an undisclosed amount. Its other brands include MenuPages and Allmenus.

The Chicago company, formerly known as GrubHub Seamless Inc., connects more than 28,000 restaurants with diners in more than 600 U.S. cities. It had 3.4 million active diners at the end of the year. An active diner is considered a unique diner account that has placed an order in the last year.

Companies such as GrubHub contract with restaurants, mostly in large metropolitan areas, and allow customers to shop online by food type, cuisine or restaurant name to find what they want and have it delivered or prepared before pickup.

The service frees restaurants from some of the labor-intensive order taking and allows consumers to quickly shop, compare and pay without picking up a phone.

But there is intense competition in the marketplace, in part because restaurants don’t have to commit to offering online ordering through just one company.

Restaurants pay a percentage of each order to the online delivery service.

GrubHub processed more than 135,000 combined daily average orders in 2013.

The company did not disclose how many shares would be offered in the IPO or the projected price range in a regulatory filing Friday.

The shares are being offered by the company and selling stockholders. GrubHub won’t receive any proceeds from shares sold by selling stockholders.

The company said that it plans to use the offering’s proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes. It may also use part of the proceeds to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products, services, technologies or other assets.

The company’s 2013 revenue totaled $137.1 million, up 67 percent from the previous year’s $82.3 million.

GrubHub’s stock is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the “GRUB” ticker symbol.

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