When you think of meal delivery services, Blue Apron is probably one of the first companies to come to mind. They came onto the scene in 2012, but their popularity has really exploded over the last few years. For consumers who are searching for a way to make cooking easier, Blue Apron has become a go-to.
They develop quality recipes and deliver those recipes alongside pre-portioned ingredients to their customers. Those customers are then able to prepare a delicious meal right in the comfort of their own home without ever going to the grocery store. With services like these, it’s never been easier to prepare a great meal, so you can see why customers are in love with the convenience it provides.
With so much success under their belt in only a matter of years, Blue Apron has submitted a filing to begin the process of taking the company public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Their filings have been submitted with the symbol, APRN. They also aim to raise $100 million dollars in this deal, but they could receive even more.
While some meal delivery services, such as Sprig and Spoonrocket, were forced to shut down, Blue Apron and some of its competitors are still going strong. In fact, the company reported to have more than 5,200 employees and more than 1.03 million customers at the end of March 2017. This figure has increased quite a bit from the end of 2016, where Blue Apron reportedly had only 879,000 customers.
A rapidly increasing customer base has also allowed the company to earn plenty of revenue in the last few years. In fact, between 2014 and 2016, Blue Apron’s net revenue increased more than 10 times. In 2014, they reportedly brought in $77 million dollars but made $795 million in 2016.
This doesn’t mean they are without their losses though. In the first quarter of 2017, they lost nearly as much as they did in all of 2016. By the end of March, Blue Apron was looking at a loss of $52 million on the quarterly revenue of $244 million. In all of 2016, the company lost $55 million on $795 million in revenue.
Although the company is growing in terms of revenue, a lot of money is being spent on marketing especially due to the amount of competition they have. It's just one of the reasons for the losses Blue Apron has been experiencing. They actually spent a reported $144.1 million on marketing last year. As a result, there’s a concern over whether or not Blue Apron will be able to sustain profitability in the years to come.
There are a variety of risks that have been laid out by Blue Apron for potential investors. Those risks include ingredient sourcing, perishable food storage, transport and delivery of ingredients, changes in food costs, and FDA regulations.
The venture investors for Blue Apron include Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, and SG Growth Partners. This IPO looks to be a large win for those investors, especially Bessemer Venture Partners who owns about 24% of the company. Only time will tell just how much money Blue Apron will raise.