Amazon's Whole Foods deal casts a huge shadow on Blue Apron's IPO

Blue Apron is inching ever closer to its impending initial public offering.

The regulatory filing was submitted on Monday, and outlined that the company will trade under the ticker symbol APRN on the New York Stock Exchange.

Its customers often cook using Blue Apron's products multiple times each week. At the midpoint of the price range, Blue Apron would have a fully diluted market value of $3.1 billion.

Both Wayfair and Blue Apron are quickly growing, unprofitable e-commerce companies considered to be the leader in their respective niches. Revenue has grown rapidly, from $77.8 million in 2014 to $795.4 million a year ago. And it nicely encapsulates the tectonic market force that was unleashed Friday (June 16) with the announcement of a deal to fuse online retail giant Amazon and the Whole Foods Market upscale grocery chain.

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

The stocks of other supermarket companies plunged because of competitive fears, as did the stocks of mass-market retailers with big grocery units - most notably Walmart, Target and Costco.

But it did say that business combinations and consolidation could "further increase the competition we face and result in competitors with significantly greater resources and customer bases than us".

Blue Apron didn't mention Whole Foods or Amazon by name in its most recent SEC filing.

As Inc. dives harder into food, Blue Apron Holdings showing little fear in seeking a higher valuation.

At the end of the first quarter, Blue Apron had 1 million customers who made 4.1 orders each - compared with 649,000 customers making 4.5 orders apiece a year earlier.

The 30 million shares issued during the offering will be newly created Class A common stock, with one vote per share.

Reuters reported in March that Blue Apron competitor, Sun Basket, which focuses on organic ingredients, has hired banks for an IPO that could come in the second half of the year.

Blue Apron's listing is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc.

  • Zachary Reyes