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Sun Basket's meal plans include recipes like this breakfast: an orange-almond smoothie and summer frittada. Photo from Sun Basket.
Sun Basket’s meal plans include recipes like this breakfast: an orange-almond smoothie and summer frittata. Photo from Sun Basket.

Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital is taking a step outside the box, investing for a second time in the San Francisco-based organic meal delivery startup Sun Basket.

This market is new ground for the Microsoft co-founder, whose portfolio includes tech giants like Spotify, Uber, MagicLeap and Seattle-based Redfin.

Sun Basket announced the completion of a $15 million Series B round today, led by Accolade Partners and including investments from Vulcan. Vulcan also invested in the company’s Series A round, according to the release. Since being founded in 2014, the company has raised $28 million.

Paul Allen, Vulcan Capital founder.
Paul Allen, Vulcan Capital founder.

Sun Basket is one of several young “meal kit” delivery services, with hefty competitors like Blue Apron, Plated and Purple Carrot. The organic foods market can also be highly competitive—just ask Seattle startup Farmstr, an online organic marketplace that folded last year.

Subscribers to Sun Basket service receive weekly packages, with ingredients and recipes for three meals that they have chosen in advance.

The site changes recipes on a regular basis, with menu items like cod steamed in banana leaves with kaffir lime, or a breakfast of orange-almond smoothie with a summer frittata.

On the menu for the week of August 1: Burmese tomato-chickpea soup with lemongrass and pan-seared sausages with sweet peppers and polenta.

Subscriptions run around $75 per week for two people, or just under $140 for four, making Sun Basket pricier than other meal kit delivery plans. The service’s selling point is its organic ingredients, and it offers meal plans including vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo—a diet of unprocessed foods.

The company also claims that it can deliver key ingredients for meals three times faster than traditional grocery stores, meaning customers get higher quality items.

According to a Sun Basket spokesperson, the company’s service area currently covers about 80 percent of the United States population, including Seattle. The new funds will go towards opening a third distribution center.

After that distribution center opens, the company says it will be able to reach 98 percent of the United States population. It currently runs two distribution centers, one in California and one in New Jersey.

“Sun Basket’s mission is to become America’s favorite way to cook healthy meals, which is a multi-billion dollar opportunity,” said Adam Zbar, Sun Basket CEO and founder, in a press release. “By disrupting the $600 billion grocery market with a more efficient, direct-to-consumer model, we’re providing customers with the freshest organic ingredients, which when combined with quick, delicious recipes from our Chef Justine Kelly, creates a more convenient and healthy way for busy working people to cook at home.”

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