In this file:
· Chef'd gets $25M investment from Smithfield Foods
· Blue Apron rival Chef'd reels in $35 million from Smithfield and Campbell Soup
Chef'd gets $25M investment from Smithfield Foods
Christopher Doering, FoodDive
Aug. 10, 2017
· Chef'd raised $35.2 million in funding, according to an SEC filing. Chef'd CEO Kyle Ransford told CNBC Wednesday that pork producer Smithfield Foods invested $25 million. An additional $10 million investment, which has already been reported, came from Campbell Soup, with $200,000 coming from online grocer Fresh Direct.
· Chef'd has eschewed venture capital and instead turned to strategic investors who are seeking to adapt to digital trends in the food industry, the business network said. The corporate involvement gives the meal-kit company different insight than some of its competitors.
· The investment shows despite the challenges facing Blue Apron since it went public in late June, there is still demand to invest in the hot-growth meal delivery space.
Blue Apron's woeful showing since it went public on June 29 — the stock is down about 40% — has left some on Wall Street questioning the future of the popular sector that has attracted several independent meal-kit companies, as well as grocers such as Kroger and Publix and even Amazon. CNBC also noted that Plated, another competitor in the space, recently raised $12 million in debt.
The debt and funding raised by Plated and Chef'd shows there is still interest in the space, at least for now. What's interesting about Chef'd is that it has turned to well-established companies to fund its growth...
... It's clear why this is a popular space: The meal-kit delivery services market has ballooned to $5 billion in sales, according to Packaged Facts. The market intelligence firm forecasts continued robust growth ahead, particularly as millennials and Gen Z begin to buy homes and start families...
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Blue Apron rival Chef'd reels in $35 million from Smithfield and Campbell Soup
There's still money chasing meal-kit companies after Blue Apron's IPO
Chef'd is using strategic partners and investors to keep its marketing costs down
"I didn't have to start a company to find out that you can sell a dollar for 90 cents, or 50 cents," says Chef'd CEO Kyle Ransford
Ari Levy, CNBC
Aug 9, 2017
Blue Apron's horrendous six weeks as a public company isn't killing off the meal-kit market.
Rival start-up Chef'd just raised $35.2 million, according to a filing this week with the SEC. Chef'd CEO Kyle Ransford confirmed exclusively to CNBC on Wednesday that pork producer Smithfield Foods invested $25 million.
Additionally, Campbell Soup contributed $10 million in the round (a deal that was announced in May), with the remaining $200,000 coming from online grocer Fresh Direct.
Chef'd is skirting the venture capital path and is instead reeling in cash from strategic investors who are seeking to adapt to digital trends in the food industry. Corporate capital gives the company a different approach to a market that features 10 or more players all vying for consumers who want meals delivered directly to their door.
"E-commerce and direct-to-consumer is an evolving space," said Ransford, who founded the company in 2013 after a career in real estate and investing. "The strategics are ahead of the financial players in terms of understanding where the market is and what it's doing."
Research firm Packaged Facts estimated in mid-2016 that the market would hit close to $1.5 billion last year, and most forecasts show it expanding many times over in the next decade. That still represents a tiny fraction of the total grocery market, but all the growth is in online ordering...
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