Wonder Group raises $700M to continue to grow ‘super app of mealtime’

Wonder Group raises $700M to continue to grow ‘super app of mealtime’

Marc Lore, a former Walmart executive who founded such brands as diaper.com and jet.com, said in a LinkedIn post that his newest company, Wonder Group, has raised $700 million from various investors.

The capital raised came from major existing shareholders, led by NEA, GV, Accel, Bain Capital Ventures, Forerunner, Alpine and Harmony, as well as further investment from Watar Partners. Lore himself said he also personally invested $100 million in this round.

New investors to this raise include Dragoneer, Jefferies, Red & Blue Ventures, CAZ Investments, Kuvare Insurance and Fubon Ventures. Strategic investors included existing investor Amex Ventures and Nestle.

Lore said the company’s Vision, Capital and People plan is now locked in and can move forward with its top priorities: expansion, research & development and driving unit economics.

Specifically, Lore said Wonder plans to grow from its current base of 11 locations to 35 by the end of 2024 and 90 by the end of 2025, with growth focused in communities throughout the Northeast.

Wonder was created in 2018, initially featuring trucks that delivered made-to-order meals directly to customers’ homes. At the beginning of 2023, it shifted its model to brick-and-mortar locations with delivery.

The company operated 10 locations in New York City and New Jersey and delivered meals by such chefs as Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, and, in the past 12 months, expanded its assortment of “fast fine” restaurants with world-renowned chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson and José Andrés, who joined the Wonder board.

In February, it opened its 11th unit inside a Walmart in Pennsylvania. Wonder plans two more Walmart locations in New Jersey, with one in Teterboro and another in Ledgewood later this year.

To continue driving culinary innovation, Lore said the company will aggressively invest in research & development. This will include faster cook times, software enhancements, new menu items, new chefs and iconic restaurant partnerships.

In November of last year, Wonder acquired meal kit company Blue Apron.

Moving forward, the company plans to also invest in proprietary technology to drive operational efficiencies across Wonder’s vertically-integrated system: back-end technology to drive down food waste; next-gen kitchen designs to improve throughput and consistency; and an enhanced delivery network that will ensure that couriers — and, more importantly, customers’ orders — never wait.

“We’ve learned so much over the past year, and this round of capital is a show of confidence in what our team is creating: the super app of mealtime,” Lore said.