Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Blue Apron, the weekly subscription service that delivers “everything you need to cook incredible fresh meals at home”, has raised $3 million in its Series A round of funding from First Round Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and David Tisch from the Box Group. Matt Salzberg, company CEO, says that it will use the funds to expand its service throughout the United States.
Previously, the company raised $800,000 from several investors including Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg of Invite Media, Jason Finger, the founder of Seamless, Eric and Alan Gould of IAG Research, Graph Investments and James Moran of Yipit. Salzberg says that the $3 million announced today includes the $800,000 amount.
Currently serving 6,000 meals per week, Blue Apron operates as an e-commerce business that delivers ingredients to make meals that are the right proportions. Those who are interested in trying out restaurant quality recipes and new cooking techniques will find the service fascinating. By signing up, consumers can select between two meal types: meat/fish or vegetarian, along with specifying how many people will be participating.
Each week, three meals will be delivered in a refrigerated container to ensure freshness. When ready, the package is taken out and cooked according to the recipe provided. This is not a Stouffer’s or Maire Callender meal. Rather, hands-on work is required to make sure the meal is made correctly.
The idea is that these meals will encourage subscribers to try something new to eat. Plus, it gives them the comfort of knowing that the ingredients are delivered in exact measurements so that nothing gets wasted. Salzberg says that the alternative is to go to the supermarket and shop for ingredients to make an identical meal — BlueApron intelligently puts together the groceries and produce in a way so consumers will receive seasonal items and get the best deals that only a wholeseller would get. Those savings are passed along and fresh food is delivered.
The meals are a fixed price of $9.99 per person per meal and can be cooked in 35 minutes or less.
Salzberg says that Blue Apron will be expanding its nationwide service to the rest of the US — currently, it’s only operating east of the Mississippi River. Additionally, it will be investing in more fulfillment centers. Other coming features include more meal options that customers can select from based on their dietary restrictions.
Phin Barnes, a partner with First Round Capital, will also be joining the company’s Board of Directors.
Photo credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images
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