A Startup That's A Godsend For Lazy Cooks Is Now Worth Half-A-Billion Dollars

Salad blue apronBlue ApronGrilled vegetables with olives and tomatoes is one of the meals you can order on Blue Apron this week.

Blue Apron, a startup that wants to make cooking fresh, healthy meals easy by sending ingredients to its subscribers every week, just raised a $US50 million at a $US500 million valuation in a Series C round led by Stripes Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Here’s how Blue Apron works:

People who are strapped for time but want to make their own home-cooked meals can sign up to receive three meals a week, that will come in either two, four, or six-person portions. Boxes arrive overnight, and subscribers then have all the ingredients that they will need to spend 35 minutes or less following simple recipe cards and cooking their meals. Each week the company lists six recipes that suit a wide-range of different tastes, catering to vegetarians as well as meat lovers. This week the list includes chicken and black bean enchiladas, shrimp quinoa “fried rice,” and spring root vegetable casserole.

Although the company sends people meals according to their specified dietary preferences, the site says that it plans to continue to add additional choices to accommodate dietary restrictions over time. The most basic plan, which provides three meals for two people, costs $US60 a week (or about $US10 per person, per meal).

Its subscription commerce model not only helps people save time, but it allows Blue Apron to predict and buy just the food it needs to fulfil orders weekly which minimizes food waste and keeps the company’s overhead lower than other traditional or online grocers. It’s currently delivering about 600,000 meals a month to people across the country.

Blue Apron’s CEO Matt Salzberg told WSJ that he plans to use its capital for hiring, marketing, and new fulfillment and shipping centres across the country. Recently, a lot of startups have been trying to reinvent the kitchen. Plated is another startup that’s similar to Blue Apron.

Blue Apron raised $US5 million in August of last year, and past backers include Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, and Box Group.

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