Marley Spoon, the cook-at-home food delivery service that competes with the likes of Gousto, Blue Apron, Plated, and Rocket Internet’s HelloFresh, has closed $17 million in Series B funding.
Backing comes from QD Ventures, Kreos Capital, and existing investors, including Lakestar. It brings total funding raised by the Berlin-headquartered company to $32 million.
Notably, Marley Spoon’s previous A round was led by Rocket Internet’s venture arm GFC — presenting another example of the German e-commerce behemoth and startup factory seemingly competing with itself.
In addition, Marley Spoon is also disclosing that it has secured up to $44 million in media volume from GMPVC, a media-for -equity fund. This, I’m told, should see the recipe kit service able to significantly raise its brand profile in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
As CEO and co-founder Fabian Siegel told TechCrunch last April when the startup launched in the U.S., the biggest challenge faced by Marley Spoon and its competitors is creating awareness that such a service exists.
He said that unlike other food e-commerce opportunities — referencing his time as co-CEO of online take-out marketplace Delivery Hero in particular — people don’t search online for a recipe kit service. Therefore online marketing and SEO isn’t as effective as more traditional media channels.
To that end, Siegel told me in a call last week that Amazon’s entry into the grocery is good for companies like Marley Spoon as it helps to establish the online grocery space as a whole, with the e-commerce giant covering the pantry (ie the staples like breakfast cereal) and cook-at-home services handling fresh food delivery and cooking inspiration.
That said, Amazon’s recent partnership with supermarket Morrisons in the U.K., for example, is seeing the company encroach on the fresh grocery delivery space too.
Meanwhile, Marley Spoon says it will use its Series B funding for further U.S. expansion, spanning the West Coast, including opening a new San Francisco-based fulfilment facility, the East Coast, and South. Along with North America, the startup operates in the U.K., the Netherlands, Austria, and Australia.