DoorDash Seemingly Contradicts $265 Million Escrow Account Deposit Claim
Food delivery firm is also understating non-GAAP R&D expense by $53 million, or 85.4%.
November 5, 2022
In its latest quarterly filing DoorDash (DASH) says it established and deposited $133 million into an escrow account to satisfy the renewal requirements of one of its insurance policies. The company says it is also required to deposit the remaining collateral in two installments of $66 million each on December 1, 2022 and February 1, 2023.

Later in the company’s latest quarterly filing, DoorDash seemingly contradicts the earlier assertion, suggesting the escrow account has not yet been established. The company acknowledges it must set aside $265 million as collateral for its insurance provider. However, the company states:

“Once the escrow account is established, cash deposited into it will be restricted from general use…”

We don’t believe DoorDash intended to mislead investors. The apparent contradiction is a matter of timing— the escrow account had not been established as of September 30, 2022. The deposit totaling approximately half the required collateral was made, according to the company, in November 2022.

No matter, the $265 million in collateral is 135.8% and 77% of DoorDash’s operating income and operating cash flow, respectively, for the nine months ended September 30, 2022. The collateral is 200% of operating cash flow in the previous nine months if stock based compensation (SBC) is not added back.

Separately, similar to adjusted profitability metrics, DoorDash continues to exclude inconvenient items from key operating expense metrics. Not only does the company exclude SBC from its Adjusted Research and Development Expense metric, it also excludes payroll tax expense and what the company calls “allocated overhead”.

In the latest quarter, DoorDash’s Adjusted Research and Development Expense is understated, according to our analysis, by 85.4%.
Related: UBER, LYFT
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