Home » Technology » 5 burning questions Blue Apron’s IPO is about to answer


Blue Apron will be going public in short order, kicking off the second big major consumer IPO of 2017. It’s nowhere near as big as Snap, but the company at the top end of its IPO pricing will be valued at around $3.2 billion as it looks to raise nearly $600 million.

The company’s IPO comes at an interesting time as we approach the midpoint for 2017, which has seen a big wave of IPOs since Snap went public at the beginning of the year. But since Snap went public, its stock has cratered. There have been a lot of successful enterprise tech IPOs — especially much smaller ones — but it’s not clear if the so-called IPO window will remain open in the back half of the year.

And of course there are big questions for Blue Apron now that Amazon made a big bid for Whole Foods. The company, which delivers ingredients for meals directly to consumers’ homes, is a very new kind of business that will be hitting the public markets. We’ll see how it performs soon, but in the mean time, here are some major questions that we’ll see some answers for when it makes its debut:

Did Snap ruin everything for consumer IPOs?

So let’s get this out of the way: Snap did cause a lot of trouble in its last earnings report. The company had a successful IPO “pop,” but since then the stock has cratered down to its IPO price. Despite that successful IPO — the first big consumer IPO of the year — there may be a lot of skepticism around consumer IPOs. While Blue Apron runs a complex web of logistics and data analysis, at the end of the day it’s also selling a consumer experience for users (cough millenials cough) that they might not otherwise get without access to good ingredients.

The Snap crash’s biggest effect is probably the shadow it has cast over advertising services that are alternatives to Facebook and Google. Those companies make up the majority of digital advertising budgets, meaning it’ll be a harder sell for Pinterest, Twitter and Snap that their ads are…

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