BLUE APRON CEO: Amazon's grocery business could be 'good for us'

Matt SalzbergFlickr/TechCrunchBlue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg, during happier times.

Following a disappointing IPO tainted by Amazon‘s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, the CEO of Blue Apron isn’t giving up hope.

If Amazon “can help accelerate bringing online dollars into the offline grocery world and accelerate that transition from offline to online, we think that is good for us, and good for others players in online grocery,” Matt Salzberg said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

Salzberg is in damage control mode after Amazon’s $US13.7 billion acquisition raised concerns over increased competition in the food delivery industry, throwing a wrench into Blue Apron’s plans to go public.

Originally expected to price at $US15 to $US17 a share, Blue Apron was forced to cut its IPO range to $US10 to $US11, ultimately pricing at $US10 per share late on Wednesday. That was a full 40% below the maxium it had sought. And, at $US1.9 billion, the company’s market cap at the IPO price is less than the $US2 billion valuation it fetched in its last round of private fundraising, according to Crunch Base.

Blue Apron’s troubles highlight a bigger issue with Amazon: that it stands capable of erasing billions of dollars of market value with even the simplest corporate action. Companies ranging from Walmart to Express Scripts have found themselves in Amazon’s sights in recent weeks.

And with Amazon sitting on more than $US20 billion in cash at the end of the first quarter, the reckoning in retail may just be getting started.

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