Lifestyle

Blue Apron attracts $500M valuation by catering to lazy chefs

A Blue Apron "meal kit."

Above: A Blue Apron "meal kit."

Image Credit: Blue Apron

Blue Apron customers fall somewhere in the center of the laziness spectrum.

On one end, there are inspired amateur chefs who rise bright and early to get all their ingredients from their local farmer’s market. On the other, there are lethargic blobs (like this journalist) who order far too many meals through the newly public GrubHub Seamless delivery service.

Blue Apron caters to folks in the middle, delivering fresh, pre-measured meal ingredients to Americans who want to cook healthy meals without whipping out the cutting board.

That’s apparently a sweet spot for the thriving food tech startup, which today confirmed a new $50 million investment, reports the Wall Street Journal. That sizable funding round values the startup at roughly $500 million, investors involved in the deal told the Journal.

Blue Apron subscribers dish out $10 per meal, per person (they come in two-, four-, and six-person portions). The startup lists six recipes each week, with something for veggie and meat fanatics alike. In fact, it recommends recipes based on the dietary preferences people input. And because subscribers pre-order their food weekly through the online platform, the company says it can keep food waste to a minimum.

After just 18 months of operation, Blue Apron is delivering around 600,000 meals a month to its subscribers, earning the New York startup roughly $60 million in monthly revenue. Its closest competitors are Plated and Chefday.

Stripes Group led Blue Apron’s $50 million funding round, which also featured participation from the startup’s earlier investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners and First Round Capital.

As more technology works its way into the culinary experience at home and on-the-go, venture capitalists have taken notice. Food tech startups soaked up more than $2.8 billion in venture capital last year, according to Rosenheim Advisors.

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