Although Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) is reportedly negotiating to acquire Postmates for $2.6 billion, the meal delivery service isn't waiting around for an offer that may not ultimately materialize.

Fox Business News reports Postmates is planning on filing the necessary paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) that could come as soon as next week.

Postmates delivery driver

Image source: Postmates.

It's good to have options

The third-party delivery market has been hot during the coronavirus pandemic as restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms and offer only takeout or delivery. 

A Morgan Stanley analysis shows the sector generates about $30 billion in revenue from the fees and commissions charged for delivery. While profit margins are typically thin to nonexistent, however, smaller rival Waitr reported an adjusted profit of $3.9 million in the first quarter compared with a $10 million loss the year before.

Uber itself is under pressure to grow its Uber Eats business as the ride-sharing side of its ledger continues to weaken, particularly during the pandemic as fares fell 3% last quarter, leading the company to post a $2.9 billion loss.

The tech company had tried to acquire Grubhub but was beaten by rival Just Eat Now it is stalking Postmates, which has had an IPO in the works for at least a year. Postmates was expected to go public in October, but the company reportedly told its advisors market conditions were suboptimal and delayed the filing.

Now Postmates, which revolutionized the meal delivery segment, could make it a reality if it finally goes through with its plans, assuming Uber or someone else doesn't sweep in and scoop it up as consolidation continues to roil the market.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.