- Scotland's Baillie Gifford invests in meal-kit startup
- Rocket Internet shares soar most since IPO in Frankfurt
HelloFresh GmbH, a German food-delivery startup backed by the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet SE, raised 75 million euros ($85 million) in funding, lifting its valuation to 2.6 billion euros as it seeks to increase its market share and expand further.
The investment by Scottish firm Baillie Gifford more than quadruples the delivery company’s valuation and cuts Rocket’s shareholding to 57.2 percent, Rocket said Thursday. Germany’s Rocket, a venture-investment firm founded by Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer, soared the most since the company started trading about a year ago.
With the investment, Berlin-based HelloFresh joins the ranks of so-called unicorns, venture-backed startups that have achieved a valuation of $1 billion or more. Ride-sharing application BlaBlaCar said Wednesday it raised $200 million in funding, bringing the French company’s valuation to $1.6 billion.
Rocket jumped as much as 16 percent in Frankfurt, the steepest intraday climb since its initial public offering. It rose 11 percent to 24.75 euros at 10:57 a.m. local time.
HelloFresh was set up in 2011 and delivers weekly meal kits with recipes and ingredients to customers in seven countries, including the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. The company more than quadrupled sales last year to 70 million euros, Chief Executive Officer Dominik Richter told reporters last month. It raised about $126 million in February and has about 400 employees.
People familiar with the matter said in June that HelloFresh’s owners were considering an IPO this year. The company is “constantly evaluating possible financing options, among them a potential future IPO,” it said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.
The company’s other investors include and Insight Venture Partners, Phenomen Ventures and Vorwerk Direct Selling Ventures.