Interest, Investments in Meal Delivery Firms

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Jun 05, 2017

There continues to be rabid interest in home delivery meal kit companies, both from Big Food companies and from Wall Street. Some news from the past month:

Blue Apron, the apparent leader in the category, on June 1 filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. According to the filing, the IPO is valued at up to $100 million; a date was not specified. The company wants to use the proceeds to pay off debt.

Blue Apron was founded in 2012 and has been growing quickly – in both sales and red ink. Last year it reportedly doubled revenue to nearly $800 million but also lost $55 million. Competition is growing fast, too. We couldn’t find any food & beverage companies invested in Blue Apron, although they’re buying into competitors.

Campbell Soup Co. in May unveiled a strategic partnership and investment of $10 million in Chef’d, an e-commerce meal marketplace that Campbell says will help grow its e-commerce capabilities. Campbell also is the sole, $32 million investor in Habit, a San Francisco-based personalized nutrition and meal-delivery company led by Plum Organics founder Neil Grimmer.

The same month, Unilever’s venture capital arm took a stake in Sun Basket Inc., another meal-kit delivery company rumored to be readying an initial public offering, Bloomberg Markets reports. Unilever Ventures, along with Baseline Ventures and Founders Circle Capital, are investing a combined $9.2 million.

Meanwhile, Sprig, a San Francisco-based meal delivery company, closed down. The startup had acquired more than $56 million in funding, according to reports.

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