Struggling Meal-Kit Maker Blue Apron Sells For $130M
Blue Apron (NASDAQ: APRN), a New York-based meal-kit maker, has agreed to sell itself to food delivery startup Wonder Group,…
Blue Apron (NASDAQ: APRN), a New York-based meal-kit maker, has agreed to sell itself to food delivery startup Wonder Group, ending a tumultuous ride on the public markets since its 2017 listing.
Wonder Group will pay $103mn for Blue Apron, a 137% premium to the company’s market value before the announcement. Given the current situation, it’s a stellar price but a fraction of Blue Apron’s $1.9bn valuation when it listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2017.
Blue Apron has struggled since its 2017 public listing, with annual sales falling from $881mn in that year to $458mn in 2022. The company never posted yearly profits since 2017, and Blue Apron’s market value fell considerably as investors lost faith in its business.
- Blue Apron’s savior is Wonder Group, a food delivery startup founded by serial entrepreneur Marc Lore. Lore previously founded Jet.com, an e-commerce startup that sold to retail giant Walmart for $3.3bn in 2016. After selling Jet.com, Lore became president of Walmart’s e-commerce business until he stepped down in 2021.
- Before Jet.com, Lore founded Quidsi, a baby products online retailer that sold to Amazon, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, for $500mn in 2010.
Blue Apron delivers easy-to-prepare meal kits to customers’ homes. Wonder Group prepares and delivers cooked meals to customers’ homes; it has licensing deals with prominent restaurants to prepare and deliver their meals from Wonder food halls. For now, Wonder operates food halls in a few locations in New York state.
Acquiring Blue Apron is a timesaving approach for Wonder to expand its business, although the startup has to deal with curtailing losses from Blue Apron’s business. Wonder has raised $900mn in equity and debt funding since launching in 2018.