Territory, the prepared food delivery service headquartered in Washington DC, has raised $6.7 million in Series A funding. The deal closed in the same week that Maple, a similar New York-based service, announced it was shutting down.
New investors in Territory included the new St Louis-based food and agtech venture capital firm Lewis & Clark Ventures, which made its first investment in March, and NRV, a Richmond, Virginia-based firm.
Existing investors Motley Fool Holdings and Upfront Ventures also invested.
Territory, which launched as Power Supply in 2011, was co-founded by two ex-colleagues at financial analysis website The Motley Fool, and two food entrepreneurs from DC, with a mission to provide healthy, nutritious food to its customers. (Co-founder Robert Morton explains the name change in a Medium post here.)
After starting in DC, it expanded to Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2015 where it targets customers at gyms and other healthy living outlets with its calorie-controlled meals, prepared by independent chefs.
This measured expansion and focused customer acquisition model are understood to have appealed to investors, despite several failures in the space, according to TechCrunch.
Maple, which launched in April 2015 as the boom in food e-commerce startups globally was starting to kick in. Backed by David Chang, head chef of Momofuku, Maple became popular for office lunches and raised $29 million in seed and Series A funding. Investors included Thrive Capital, Greenoaks Capital, Primary Venture Partners, and 14W, Aspiration Growth, and David Chang.
But, as Quartz reports, cracks started to emerge in the business model and the company was not making money on orders. Some data points to at least $10 million in debt by the end.
UK restaurant delivery company Deliveroo is understood to be buying the technology platform and taking on some of Maple’s employees.
Also in consumer food-tech this week…
Yummly, the recipe search engine that allows users to create shopping lists and even, in some locations, order the relevant food and equipment needed to cook the meal, has been acquired by household appliance company Whirlpool.
While details of the transaction were not announced, Yummly will be worth more than the $100 million valuation it got for its $15 million Series B in 2015.
Yummly raised nearly $23 million in total from investors including First Round Capital, Intel Capital, Physic Ventures and Unilever Ventures since launching in 2009.
Whirlpool is keen to keep up with technological developments, particularly in the kitchen and has been manufacturing in smart kitchen technology appliances.
“We are committed to introducing new products to market that remove complexity from the day-to-day lives of consumers. Increasingly, these products will be defined by both physical and digital experiences. Yummly brings an outstanding platform on which to begin building our digital product offering,” said Brett Dibkey, vice president, Integrated Business Units for Whirlpool Corporation, in a press release.