UPDATE: Purple Carrot sent out a press release officially announcing the deal, though the numbers they provide are different. From that announcement:
Purple Carrot, the plant-based meal kit company with operations in the U.S., today announced that it will be acquired by Tokyo-based Oisix ra daichi Inc. (Oisix), Japan’s largest meal kit and organic food delivery service…
Purple Carrot’s corporate headquarters will remain in Massachusetts, and the entire executive leadership team will maintain their roles in the organization. Terms of the deal include an upfront payment of $12.8 million, with an earn-out potential of an additional $17.2 million through 2021, creating a total deal value of up to $30 million.
This runs counter to the financial document that Oisix released on April 25, which listed a $4 million upfront payment. Additionally a representative of Purple Carrot told The Spoon that the ownership numbers listed in that document were incorrect.
We are still looking into this and will update as more information becomes available.
OUR ORIGINAL POST FROM 5/21/19 FOLLOWS:
Evidently, plant-based meal kit company Purple Carrot was acquired by Japanese online grocer Oisix last month. It happened quietly, at least here in the U.S.; there’s no mention of the acquisition on the company’s blog or press page, and the only press release for the acquisition appears to be in Japanese from Oisix.
We learned about it from a Linkedin post today by Sean Butler, Managing Director, Demand Chain for LIDD (and former SVP at Chef’d). From that post:
Well-known meal kit company Purple Carrot has entered into an agreement to sell itself to Japanese online grocer Oisix ra daichi, according to documents published on the grocer’s website. Oisix ra daichi will pay a mere $4 million USD for Purple Carrot, with a further maximum payout of $17 million due if Purple Carrot fully achieves its three-year earn-out goals.
From the Oisix press release (in Japanese), the acquisition was announced on April 25, 2019. Purple Carrot had raised $10 million so far, including a $4 million investment from fruit company, Del Monte last year. Oisix released a financial document on April 25, outlining more specifics about the deal, including that Purple Carrot had sales of more than $40 million in 2018, and had losses of more than $4 million in 2017 and 2108. Additionally, CEO Andy Levitt and President Brian Greenfield held a combined 80.4 percent of the shares in the company. As Butler writes, this initial $4 million purchase price leaves just $784,000 total for all the investors.
Purple Carrot’s low exit is emblematic of what has been a tough year for meal kit companies. Albertsons laid off ten percent of Plated’s corporate staff and Blue Apron announced this week it could get delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because it’s share price had remained below a dollar since May.
Despite all this sturm and drang, there are still some signs of life in the meal kit market. Kroger is piloting a new line of Home Chef meal kits, and Amazon debuted its meal kits at Whole Foods. Additionally, according to research from Nielsen, meal kits are still growing, driven mostly by their move into retail.
In addition to the straight-up plant-based meal kits, Purple Carrot also created TB12 meal kits in partnership with New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. Wonder if that Super Bowl champion lost anything on that deal with this news.
We reached out to Purple Carrot and will update this story when we hear back.