Shares of Blue Apron Holding Inc. (NYSE:APRN) were sliding today after rival meal-kit service Marley Spoon said it would go public. As a result, Blue Apron shares closed down 4%.
Marley Spoon, which is based in Germany, said today it would go public, but will offer its shares in Australia, in part because that is one of its strongest markets. By doing so, Marley Spoon will join Blue Apron and HelloFresh, the leaders in the U.S. market, as publicly traded pure-play meal-kit services. (HelloFresh is also based in Germany, and traded only on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.)
The company is aiming to raise about $53 million in the initial public offering, and expects to debut in July.
Marley Spoon is much smaller than Blue Apron, with just over 1% market share in the U.S., compared to more than 30% for Blue Apron. However, the smaller operator does have a partnership with Martha Stewart -- its kits are branded Martha & Marley Spoon -- and the funding it's raising in the IPO could be used to dial up marketing to expand in the U.S., which is a much bigger market than Australia.
Signs of increasing competition against Blue Apron seem almost constant. Earlier this week, HelloFresh said it would begin selling its meal kits in nearly 600 Giant and Stop & Shop stores, mimicking a similar move by Blue Apron to sell its kits at Costco in a pilot program.
Blue Apron isn't likely to feel an immediate impact from Marley Spoon's IPO, but it's a reminder that the once-promising start-up is far from the only meal-kit player making moves. Its competition won't get any easier.