Deliveroo, the food delivery service, is to hand staff a £10m share pot in a move towards an eventual public listing, writes Sky News.

Sky News said that Will Shu, Deliveroo’s founder, told employees last week that permanent workers would be handed stock options worth an average of £5,000 during the coming months.

Deliveroo’s army of delivery riders, who are classed as self-employed contractors rather than permanent employees, will not share in the windfall.

A source told Sky News that the company’s nearly 2,000 staff would be allowed to redeem their options “when it goes public or in another exit event”.

Deliveroo was valued at well over £1.5bn last year when it raised a new round of funding from the asset managers‎ Fidelity and T Rowe Price.

Bankers believe an initial public offering, which could take place in London or New York, is unlikely for at least 18 months.

In his note to staff, which was seen by Sky News, Shu‎ said he wanted “all of you to be owners”.

He wrote: “Today I am announcing that all permanent employees at Deliveroo will get the chance to be a shareholder in our company. Yes, that’s right - each and every one of you will get stock options in Deliveroo. Why? Because Deliveroo’s success is not just my success. It’s our success. This is not just my company. It’s our company.”