Specialty Meal-Kit Companies See New Investments
The plant-based meal-kit company Purple Carrot has been sold to Tokyo-based Oisix ra daichi Inc., which operates Japan’s largest meal-kit and food delivery service. Combining Oisix’s platform and access to thousands of farmers’ fresh produce with Purple Carrot’s U.S. market penetration is setting the company up for global growth in the meal-kit market, which experts expect to hit $9 billion by 2025.
“I’m so proud of the rapid growth that Purple Carrot has achieved over the past five years," said Andy Levitt, Purple Carrot’s founder and CEO. "It’s now a great opportunity to join Oisix, positioning Purple Carrot for continued domestic and future global growth with a highly authentic partner in the wellness category. By partnering with this Japanese powerhouse, we’ll bring Purple Carrot plant-based meals to even more consumers and significantly increase the positive impact of our business well into the future. We look forward to working with Oisix to continue the momentum and authenticity of the brand we’ve created.”
Purple Carrot's headquarters will remain in Needham, Mass., and the executive team will retain their positions. Terms of the deal include an upfront payment of $12.8 million, with an earn-out potential of another $17.2 million through 2021. The deal is the first global alliance between two health-centric companies in Asia and United States.
Oisix, which was founded in 2000, had about $580 million in revenues for the year ended March 2019 and operates seven distribution centers in Japan, with a network of more than 4,000 farmers. Purple Carrot, which launched in 2014, works with three distribution centers to provide fresh, plant-based meal kits delivered to homes.
New Funding for Sun Basket
Meanwhile, healthy meal-kit delivery service Sun Basket has raised $30 million in a Series E investment led by Pivot North Capital, as well as Sapphire Ventures, August Capital, Founders Circle, Unilever Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Relevance Capital, Accolade Partners and Correlation Ventures. The new funding will drive Sun Basket’s offerings to include breakfast, lunch and dinner that can be personalized for any lifestyle and advance its evolution into an omnichannel healthy-eating platform.
The latest investment brings Sun Basket’s funding to $125 million, and the meal-kit company reported 80 percent CAGR growth over the past three years. To continue to drive growth, the San Francisco-based company plans to roll out new healthy products, a highly personalized AI-powered digital user experience, and strategic partnerships that drive user acquisition and brand awareness.
“We’re thrilled to have the strong support of our investors who share our vision for building the leading personalized healthy-eating platform,” said Sun Basket CEO Adam Zbar. “Food is a $1 trillion market ripe for online disruption, and Sun Basket will continue to innovate, focusing on our customers' top three needs: health, ease and personalization.”
Sun Basket was founded in 2014 as an innovative cooking service that delivers organic produce and clean ingredients in its easy-to-cook meal kits. Offerings include Chef’s Basket, Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly, and Quick & Easy meal plans.