New York-based Boxed, the startup for buying food and household items in bulk, is in talks to be acquired by Kroger for about $500 million. Other retailers are also expected to be making bids.
The news was first reported by Forbes and confirmed to TechCrunch by a source with knowledge of the situation. We’re hearing that the company is aiming to make a decision this weekend.
Founded in 2013, Boxed is effectively an online Costco competitor. With just a few taps, customers can order large boxes ranging from cereal to laundry detergent. The items are priced at a discount.
In an era where Jet can sell to Walmart for $3 billion, it’s unsurprising that Boxed would generate buyer interest. The race is on to keep up with Amazon and retailers are hoping to snap up emerging platforms.
But it hasn’t been cheap to build Boxed’s business. The company has already raised at least $132 million from well-known investors like Bessemer Venture Partners, GGV Capital, Greycroft Partners and First Round Capital. Its latest Series C round was in January 2016.
Co-founder and CEO Chieh Huang previously worked at Zynga and before that, practiced law.