Blue Apron is having another awful day and its shares are crashing

Since going public last month, things have not gone
particularly well for Blue Apron thanks to the specter of
Amazon and
its $13.7 billion acquisition bid for Whole Foods
. The bad
news, again, continues to roll in as what may have been a
competitor in theory now seems more and more like an
existential threat.

Blue Apron’s shares are down another 10% today, continuing a
streak of mistrust and misfortune on the public markets since
making its debut. That seems on the heels of evidence of its
ambitions in the meal-kit market
through the form of trademark filing earlier this month
Amazon is well known to bulldoze its way into new, sometimes
perpendicular markets — like minting a $10 billion plus
business in server farms and buying a video game live-streaming
company — and now it looks like the company has set its eyes on
meal-kit delivery.

That’s seems for good reason, too. In just the span of a few
years, Blue Apron has exposed a business that generated nearly
$800 million in revenue in 2016 and was able to eke out a small
profit in the first quarter that year. While the company is now
burning an enormous amount of cash to acquire and hold onto
customers, Amazon has logistics down to a near-perfected
science. It seems only logical that Amazon would be watching an
area like this very closely, and buy buying Whole Foods, may
see an opportunity to pick off that now-low hanging fruit.

The proper caption for this chart would probably be: 😬.

After starting off the process with a lot of good will, Blue
Apron had to revise down its IPO price — and even then that
seems to have been optimistic. In the middle of Blue Apron’s
road show to investors ahead of the IPO, Amazon announced it
would make a big bid for Whole Foods, basically stealing Blue
Apron’s thunder and giving it a massive question mark for its
future. Finally listing at a final share price of $10, the
company’s stock hit $6.51 today and has seen its price shed a
third of its value in just a couple weeks.

Blue Apron has a lot to prove now and show Wall Street that
it’s not just a niche business that makes sense as part of a
greater delivery empire like Amazon. That’s going to be even
more critical now, as keeping that stock price up helps fend
off activists that may try to agitate change in its business
and keep talent around with robust compensation packages. The
morale component, too, is important as it wants to ensure
potential candidates see it as a long-term business with
potential over the next few years.

Featured Image: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty

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