Blue Apron raises $50 million led by Stripes Group

Courtesy: Blue Apron

Meal kit service Blue Apron has closed its $50 million round of funding, led by Stripes Group. Prior investors Bessemer Venture Partners and First Round Capital participated.

Fortune previously reported on the round earlier this month, noting that the valuation was $500 million. Blue Apron’s investors confirmed this number to VentureWire this morning. (TechCrunch had reported that it might come in in slightly lower, at $450 million.)

Blue Apron is just 18 months old, but has already expanded nationally and, based on sales of 600,000 meals each month at $10 each, the company has an estimated $72 million revenue run rate. Blue Apron has been a bright spot for commerce in New York’s tech scene, which has been going through an identity crisis in the last year, according to the New York Times. The company previously raised $8 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital and BoxGroup.

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Blue Apron’s business model is simple: The most basic plan costs $60 per week to receive the ingredients and recipes for three meals, feeding two people each. A chilled box arrives overnight, and subscribers can cook the meals following simple recipe cards. Part of the company’s appeal is its inclusion of exotic styles of cooking with interesting ingredients.

Subscribers can cancel delivery in advance — either way, Blue Apron knows exactly how much food to order each week. Built-in demand prediction eliminates spoilage, which is a big margin-killer for brick-and-mortar grocery stores.

However, as Blue Apron expands, the company has learned that one size doesn’t fit all. There are gluten and nut allergies, lactose-intolerance, vegans and diet trends like paleo and carb-free to consider. Until recently, Blue Apron offered just two choices: vegetarian, or a meat-eater box with a red meat, a light meat and a seafood meal. Now it has kosher and pescetarian options, too.

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