Nope, meal kits are still not over. Neither are the grocery wars.
After Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition sent ripples through the market, grocers are still scrambling to find ways to compete.
Four months after Walmart introduced its own prepared meal offering, the retail behemoth has now partnered with meal kit startup Gobble. The Palo Alto-based dinner kit delivery service will sell its products through Walmart’s e-commerce site.
It’s unclear whether Walmart has plans to make an investment in the startup or whether it’s a pure partnership play like this, but it’s undoubtedly keeping its finger on the pulse as an increasing segment of the population buys groceries online (read: Millennials). As an example of this trend, national grocery chain Albertsons recently acquired meal kit startup Plated, which gave the grocer access to Plated’s technology, while Plated gets exposure to millions of new customers.
Gobble has raised approximately $30 million in venture funding from investors including Initialized Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.
Initialized Capital’s Alexis Ohanian told Fortune, “Walmart is the largest retailer in the world. It bears mentioning that Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in the world. And clearly there is a battle—not even brewing, there’s a battle being waged right now. I think it’s a huge opportunity for Walmart.”
But the question remains — are these types of partnerships really meaningful enough to help Walmart and other grocers fend off the beast that is Amazon?
INDRA NOOYI IS OUT: PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi will step down as CEO on Oct. 3. The firm’s board elected Ramón Laguarta, who was already the second-ranked executive, to succeed her. Nooyi led the beverage and snack giant for 12 years, and has worked there for a total of 24. Under her leadership, PepsiCo generated a shareholder return of 162% from the end of 2006 to the end of 2017 and returned $79.4 billion to shareholders via dividends and buybacks. Revenue climbed 80%.
Her exit also means the Fortune 500 is losing one of its few female CEOs. Several other women CEOs have recently left their posts, including Campbell Soup’s Denise Morrison, Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman and Mondelez’s Irene Rosenfeld.
A SUMMER OF DEALS: July set an an all-time record for the number of $100 million+ venture deals struck in a single month, according to Crunchbase. Among those deals were JD Finance, Juul, WeWork China, and Lime.
• Surterra Wellness, a Georgia-based medical cannabis startup, raised $65 million in funding. William Wrigley Jr. II led the round.
• Ample, a San Francisco-based developer of a platform that delivers a full charge to electric cars, raised $31 million in Series A round funding. Shell Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Moore Strategic Ventures, Repsol Energy Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and TRIREC.
• Worklete, a San Francisco-based digital health platform designed to prevent musculoskeletal injuries among labor intensive workforces, raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. Trinity Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Launch Capital, River Park Ventures, Aspect Ventures and Kapor Capital.
• Plantforce, a provider of heavy equipment rentals, raised £4.7 million ($6.10 million) in funding from BGF.
• Farmstand, a London-based plant-powered food company, raised $3 million in Series A funding. Kindred Capital led the round.
• Edmit, a Boston-based edtech startup, raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Investors include Founder Collective, Rethink Education, and Precursor Ventures.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Karuna Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based focused on targeting muscarinic receptors for treating disorders marked by psychosis and cognitive impairment, raised $42 million Series A funding. Investors include ARCH Venture Partners.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• CoolSys, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, acquired Energy Squared LLC, a Princeton, N.J.-based energy design consulting engineering firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Guardian Capital made an investment in Direct Line, a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of network cabling, infrastructure and staffing services to data centers and other mission critical environments. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Alion, which is backed by Veritas Capital, agreed to acquire MacB, a provider of complex engineering and mission critical technology solutions and services for national security missions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Source Capital made an investment in Texan Allergy, an Austin, Texas-based provider of management support services to affiliated allergy practices. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Strand Equity made an investment in Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, a Brooklyn-based artisan ice cream brand. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Vista Equity Partners is considering selling Tibco Software Inc, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of infrastructure and business intelligence software. Vista has held early stage talks with potential suitors. Read more.
• BlaBlaCar acquired BeepCar, a Russia-based carpooling platform, from Mail.ru. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Arlo Technologies, a San Jose, Calif-based security camera firm spinning out of Netgear, raised $163 million in an IPO of 10.2 million shares priced at $16, below its $18 to $20 range. The firm posted $6.6 million in income on $370.7 million in revenue for 2017. BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and Guggenheim Securities are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “ARLO.” Read more.
• Cerberus sold Reydel Automotive Group, a Netherlands-based maker of smart interiors for cars, to a subsidiary of Samvardhana Motherson Automotive Systems Group B.V. for $201 million.