Was Blue Apron the worst IPO ever?

  • Shares of meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron declined below $1 this week for the first time, making it one of the worst well-known IPOs of recent years.
  • The company went public in a deal that valued the start-up at $10 per share and close to $2 billion in June 2017.
  • There were warning signs: the IPO priced deeply below its original estimated range, and at a value below the company’s previous private valuation.


Maybe it should have been a sign that the competition was going to be tough and first-mover advantage might not matter all that much: During the roadshow for meal-kit delivery service Blue Apron‘s IPO in June 2017, Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods Market.

The Blue Apron IPO got done, but the deal priced 34 percent below the original range set by Wall Street bankers ($3.2 billion), and valued the company below its last private financing — just under $2 billion. This week, Blue Apron shares entered a realm that a former start-up unicorn to successfully go public doesn’t include in its strategic road map: penny stock territory. Blue Apron shares first dipped below $1 a share on Tuesday, and ended the week at 66 cents a share, with a market cap of $128 million.