Recipe Delivery Start-Up Blue Apron in Talks With Fidelity to Secure $2 Billion Valuation - TheStreet

 NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Recipe delivery service Blue Apron is cooking up a plan for a $2 billion dollar valuation.

The company is currently in talks with mutual fund firm Fidelity to raise over $100 million from investors, catapulting it into the mystical ranks of the billion-dollar-plus "unicorn" startups like Warby Parker, Snapchat and Airbnb.

Blue Apron's formula for success has been a combination of on-demand simplicity and do-it-yourself enthusiasm. The company ships customers one box per week containing the exact ingredients required to make three different meals. It's $9.99 per plate for couples or $8.74 for the family subscription. The business model allows Blue Apron to cut out food waste all along the supply chain and deliver high-quality ingredients at 60% less than grocery stores charge. The idea, says co-founder Matt Salzberg, is to get people back into their kitchens with minimum effort and maximum enjoyment.

Venture capitalists have been quick to jump on the food delivery bandwagon as other meal kit start-ups have sprung up in Blue Apron's wake including Hello Fresh, Plated and 22 Days Nutrition. Blue Apron is currently the largest of the lot, at the latest count delivering over 2 million meals to homes across the U.S. and generating around $20 million in sales per month. For a company that's only three years old, the growth has been huge.

Salzberg says Blue Apron's main competition is grocery stores; the company cuts out the middleman by working directly with farms and food suppliers. Restaurants may also lose market share to the new wave of enthusiastic home chefs, but as Salzberg points out, there's plenty of space for new ideas in the multibillion dollar food and drinks market.