After recently suspending its operations due to financial difficulties, meal kit company Chef’d has found a buyer. True Food Innovations has reportedly bought Chef’d’s assets after it closed suddenly on July 16, The Wall Street Journal reported.
With the arraignment, True Food Innovations will sell Chef’d meal kits in brick-and-mortar grocery stores. It will, however, will halt Chef’d’s eCommerce offerings. True Food’s president, Robert Jones, said, “It’s meal kit 2.0.” And while True Food didn’t make the terms of the acquisition public, Chef’d was valued at approximately $160 million in 2017 during a funding round. Chef’d has warehouses in New York and California, as well as supply deals with retailers and roughly 200 licensing partnerships with chefs and food brands.
The news comes after Chef’d halted its business operations after using up all its cash and failing to line up more of it. The Wall Street Journal reported that, during the past few months, the startup burned through its cash from venture capitalists and food companies, including Campbell Soup and Smithfield Foods. At the same time that it was burning through its cash, executives and junior level employees were jumping ship. Some executives tried to secure new funding from private investors and banks, but nothing came of the negotiations.
“Due to some unexpected circumstances with the funding and business, I regret to inform [you] that Chef’d has ceased all operations until our investors and lenders decide the final fate of the company,” the company’s chief technology officer wrote in an email to a supplier Tuesday (July 17). “Consequently, please cease all work associated with Chef’d.” Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Chef’d told the Wall Street Journal that she was no longer under a retainer by the company.