Grocery startup Boxed announced that it has raised $111 million in a new round of funding.
The company had been in talks earlier this year about a possible sale to Kroger for between $400 million and $500 million, which it ultimately rejected in March. A source had revealed that the wholesale startup also had early talks with Amazon, Target and Costco, but that only Kroger offered a bid. At the time, Boxed had a valuation of $470 million.
While Boxed is not disclosing its new valuation, The New York Times reported that it is now at $600 million. This latest round of funding was led by Aeon, the largest retailer in Japan in terms of sales, with Alpha Square Group, CDIB Capital, consumer technology investor Gabriel Naouri and existing investors also participating. Previous backers include American Express, Founders Fund, GGV, DST, Bessemer and FJ Labs.
As part of the investment, Aeon and Boxed will engage in a “knowledge share” on topics such as logistics, robotics and AI-driven data usage. Boxed will also consult Aeon on how to expand its digital processes.
“Our industry is constantly evolving. Our latest fundraising efforts will allow us to capitalize on those changes. We’ll also continue to expand our national footprint by focusing on reaching our core consumer in various key markets, to increase national brand awareness of Boxed,” CEO and Founder Chieh Huang said in a statement.
Huang had previously expressed his desire for the company to stay private and then go public in the future.
Compared to Amazon, Boxed offers fewer products, and items in bulk sizes. As a result, the company uses less space and manpower in filling more orders. Boxed also boasts an average customer order of $100 and average order size of 10 items. The company sells bulk items, including staples such as toilet paper and pet food, and delivers directly to consumers.