Meal kit start-up Blue Apron aims to raise $450m

Blue Apron Founder and CEO Matt Salzberg

Blue Apron, a US company that delivers packages of ingredients for easy-to-cook meals, aims to raise at least $450m (£353.4m) as it starts to sell stock on the open market.

The firm disclosed the pricing in paperwork filed on Monday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Based in New York, Blue Apron was founded in 2012.

It is among the most successful meal-delivery companies that have sprung up in the US in recent years.

The industry, which includes firms such as HelloFresh in Europe, is competitive. Amazon’s plan to double down on the grocery market with an acquisition of Whole Foods, is expected to increase the pressure.

Blue Apron’s service is pitched at buyers who want a home-cooked meal, but don’t want to spend time buying groceries or menu-planning.

A two-person plan, with ingredients and recipes for three meals, costs about about $60 (£47). Options include soy-marinated chicken thighs and sesame soba noodles.

Blue Apron recently filed a prospectus, signalling an intent to become a public company.

The firm brought in almost $800m in revenue in 2016, though it ended the year with a loss of more than $54m, according to the filing.

The firm, which has more than 5,100 employees, plans to sell 30 million shares for between $15 and $17 each, according to the filing.

More shares could be issued if demand warrants, meaning an initial public offering could raise as much as $586.5m.

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