One of New York's most popular food delivery startups is suddenly shutting down

Maple, a food delivery startup that launched in New York City in 2015, announced in a letter that it will be closing shop today.

“Over the past several months we’ve been spending most of our time thinking about the future of our business — what comes next for Maple? The more time we spent trying to answer this question, the more evident it became that of all the paths we had contemplated, the most compelling next step in Maple’s story involved a shift from our current approach,” the letter reads.

“While an incredibly difficult decision for us given the effect on our core operations, it became clear that we needed to close the Maple operation here in New York and look for a partner with scale — one that would allow us to leverage all that we had built across a broader platform.”

Maple had a preset menu for lunch and dinner every day of the week, excluding Saturdays. Meals could be ordered on Seamless, Maple’s homepage, or on Maple’s app, which is available on both iOS and Android. Each meal is whipped up by line cooks in one of the startup’s five kitchens before being handed over to a delivery person who brings it to its destination.

Maple was founded by Caleb Merkl and Akshay Navle. It raised $US22 million in Series A funding in March 2015. Greenoaks Capital led the round, with contributions from Thrive Capital, Primary Ventures, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, and Momofuku founder David Chang. It had previously raised $US4 million in seed funding in November 2014.

In an increasingly competitive space, Maple isn’t the only food delivery startup to struggle and sell its parts to a competitor. Last March, SpoonRocket, a California-based delivery service, shut down and sold its IP to a Brazil-based company. In its footsteps, startups like Din and Bento have also closed down.

Deliveroo, which is absorbing some of the Maple team, is one of the highly-funded competitors trying to take on incumbents like Seamless parent company GrubHub and UberEats. Deliveroo has raised nearly half a billion dollars from investors including Yuri Milner’s DST Global, Accel Partners, and General Catalyst.

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