Loss-making online meal delivery firm HelloFresh plans flotation
FRANKFURT Loss-making "ready to cook" meal delivery company HelloFresh is readying a Frankfurt stock market listing that looks to capitalize on its rapid global expansion, rising consumer demand for convenience and investor appetite for tech flotations. The Berlin-based company is likely to sell shares worth at least 300 million euros ($331 million), two people familiar with the deal said on Wednesday. HelloFresh delivers meal ingredients and recipes for dishes such as cheeky chicken chow mein and warming lentil moussaka, priced as low as 4 pounds ($6) apiece, to subscribers in seven European countries, as well as in Australia, Canada and the United States.Majority owner Rocket Internet, a global e-commerce investor, said HelloFresh was planning to sell newly issued shares in a capital increase.HelloFresh also said revenue swelled 384 percent to 198 million euros in the first nine months of 2015, while losses rose to 58 million from 8.5 million a year before.It said it was expecting fourth-quarter revenue to top the previous three months by between 15 and 20 percent and intends to use the proceeds of its forthcoming initial public offering (IPO) to fund growth.
"In only four years, we have managed to disrupt the traditional food supply chain and build a global company," co-founder and CEO Dominik Richter said.HelloFresh's offering comes after digital classifieds group Scout24 was able to complete its float as planned in wobbly markets.By contrast, companies like container shipper Hapag-Lloyd [HPLG.UL], plastics maker Covestro and automotive supplier Schaeffler have had to curb their capital-raising ambitions due to waning investor demand.
In the third quarter, HelloFresh delivered 13 million meals to its 530,000 active subscribers, up from 3.2 million meals and 115,000 subscribers in the year-earlier period.Last month, HelloFresh was valued at 2.6 billion euros in a funding round, while U.S. peer Blue Apron, which sells 3 million meals per month, in June secured funding which valued it at more than $2 billion. The "ready to cook" meal delivery craze has already featured its share of failed start-ups, as several early California-based start-ups including Pop-Up Pantry, Chefler and Fresh Dish shut down over the past two years.
Remaining U.S. players face competition from similar companies such as Munchery, which has raised $117 million in venture financing. It got its start delivering pre-made chef-made meals but is now moving into the make-you-own-meal market.Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are organizing the IPO with the help of JP Morgan and UBS.($1 = 0.9063 euros)($1 = 0.6538 pounds) (Editing by Maria Sheahan and David Holmes)