I met Bastian Lehman, CEO and co-founder of Postmates, back in 2013 in their cramped and tiny office in the Mission. At the time, Bastian was in his mid-30s, a college drop out, recent immigrant to the U.S., with few connections in Silicon Valley, who had unceremoniously failed at his previous startup.
But in that first meeting he was electric, and deeply passionate about enabling local businesses to survive in an Amazon world.
The company was only a few months into launching Get It Now (what would be renamed Postmates) and was doing only $100k or so a month in revenue. But we fell in love with the product at Spark. It was magical. I started using it every week, sending notes to Bastian and getting to know him better.
A few months later he took a chance on me as an early investor, and we led the next round. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. I wrote this post back in 2014 about our investment, and it’s fun to read it now and remember that time.
The years since have been an absolute rollercoaster, to say the least. I don’t have the writing skills do it justice, but I hope someone does at some point.
I watched Bastian grow into the CEO job, constantly learning and challenging himself and others. As one of my earliest board seats, Postmates was also in a way where I grew up as a VC. I learned a lot about how to be a board member vs. a founder at a fast-growing startup, and got thrown just about every curveball you can imagine along the way.
I learned a ton from Bastian and the team. About balancing the need to compete every week with the need to innovate long term. How to fight as the underdog against better-funded competitors, while always staying true to what they believed made them special. And I saw first-hand that it’s possible to lead with humility, earnestness, and even a little humor when things got hard.
Postmates has built a product millions love, that hundreds of thousands of drivers and small businesses rely on. They built a company that has become a verb for so many.
Today it was announced Uber will be acquiring Postmates for $2.65 billion. It’s bittersweet to be stepping off the board, but I will remember the experience for the rest of my life. I know they will continue to do amazing things.
A deep heartfelt thank you to Bastian, Sean, Kristin, James, Vivek, and the rest of the Postmates team for these last years. I admire you all so much for sticking together, pushing through so much, and building a wonderful thing. See you soon.