Wonder Group, a startup founded by ex-Walmart e-commerce chief, lands $100mn deal with Nestle

Wonder Group, a startup founded by former Walmart e-commerce chief

Wonder Group, a food-delivery startup that sells high-tech kitchen equipment and customized ingredients to businesses, has received a $100 million investment and a strategic partnership from Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, CNBC said.

The deal, which was confirmed by both companies but not disclosed publicly, will help Wonder expand its reach and offer more variety and convenience to customers who want restaurant-quality meals at home, according to Wonder’s founder and CEO Marc Lore.

Lore is a serial entrepreneur who previously sold e-commerce companies Jet.com and Quidsi to Walmart and Amazon, respectively. He left Walmart in 2020 and launched Wonder in 2018 with a different vision: a fleet of mobile kitchens that cooked outside customers’ homes.

However, he pivoted to a more profitable model earlier this year: a network of brick-and-mortar kitchens that make dishes from popular restaurants and celebrity chefs, such as José Andrés, Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. Customers can order online and get delivery or pickup, or dine in at some locations.

Wonder also developed its own kitchen equipment that can cook food faster and better than conventional methods. It recently acquired meal-kit company Blue Apron for $103 million to enhance its ingredient offerings.

Nestle, which has a large food-service business that serves clients such as hotels, hospitals and sports arenas, will collaborate with Wonder to create pizza and pasta products that are compatible with Wonder’s kitchen equipment, as well as sell the equipment to its clients. Nestle’s president of out-of-home, Melissa Henshaw, said the partnership will help Nestle’s clients improve their food quality, consistency and revenue streams, especially after the pandemic.

Wonder, which was valued at about $3.5 billion in June, has about 1,100 employees and plans to open 10 locations in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by the end of the year, and at least 20 more next year, Lore said.

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