Gorillas is eyeing a new funding round led by DoorDash, the largest food delivery company in the US.
The Berlin-based grocery startup, which has a presence across a number of UK cities, is targeting a $2.5 billion valuation – well below the $6 billion it had previously hoped for.
An insider told Sifted that any deal was likely to be on the “worst possible terms”.
Two sources suggested the US business could buy the startup outright for a “low billion USD amount” in a “fire sale”.
Gorillas became the fastest European tech company to reach the $1 billion “unicorn” milestone this year, but momentum has slowed after allegations of a “toxic” work environment.
Its riders claim to have been left with “chronic back pain” after the company broke its own delivery weight limit of 10kg.
Earlier this week, HQ staff accused chief executive Kağan Sümer of repeatedly “swearing and screaming” at them.
DoorDash is thought to be looking to gain a foothold in Europe through an acquisition.
Its domestic competitor Gopuff, which earlier this year bought UK delivery startup Fancy, is in talks to acquire London-based grocery service Weezy.