Blue Apron initiated their next step in the startup business plan kit: filing for an IPO. The meal delivery company has become a ubiquitous presence, with advertising everywhere and popularity soaring. Going public is a bold but common move for a company in the same head space that Blue Apron appears to be in. How this effects their investments and competition will be closely monitored in the coming weeks and months.

Filing for the IPO

Blue Apron submitted their IPO filing on Thursday, beginning the process that will ultimately land the company on the New York Stock Exchange under the "APRN" symbol.

The move was a natural evolution after the company saw net revenue increase from $77 million to $795 million over the course of two years, according to CNBC. Losses have exponentially grown as well, but that just comes with the territory of being a growing company.

While filing for the IPO, Blue Apron needed to take note of certain things, such as risk factors. Under that category, they included FDA regulation, public health issues, and the sourcing of ingredients among several other risk factors. The company also cited competition they have with supermarket chains. Underwriters for the filing include Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, and the company is seeking to raise $100 million in the coming weeks and months.

The popularity of Blue Apron

Blue Apron was founded as a meal delivery service back in August 2012. Since then, the company has been responsible for hiring over 5,200 employees, according to their IPO filing. As of three months ago, the company surpassed the one-million customer mark for the first time in their history. They also have a popular iOS app that lets users design a meal plan for the week before having it shipped to them from a Blue Apron fulfillment center.

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The company is also known for their sustainability efforts. They ship the appropriate amount of ingredients to customers so as not to create excess waste. Packaging is made up of biodegradable material to reduce the packaging waste that comes with shipping so many ingredients. Additionally, customers have the ability to return the packaging their kits are sent in for recycling purposes.

Blue Apron executives hope the IPO filing will help them stave off competition from Hello Fresh and Plated as meal delivery service competition wanes following the dissolution of Sprig and Spoonrocket in recent months.