Two days ago, the Tokyo-based Oisix ra daichi Inc.– Japan's largest organic food delivery service provider– announced that it would be acquiring the plant-based meal kit company Purple Carrot.
Purple Carrot, founded in 2014, is a very successful plant-based company that serviced approximately 22,000 customers in 2018, generating just north of $43 million in total revenue. The company has continued to achieve profitability and a good EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in 2019 as well, according to CEO/Founder Andy Levitt.
The plant-based meal kit company has also managed to raise about $10 million from investors, which include notable names such as Fresh Del Monte Produce, Stray Dog Capital, New Crop Capital, and Windsail Capital. The company has had successful partnerships with professional football player Tom Brady, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, and vegan cheese company Treeline Treenut Cheese. Treeline Treenut founder Michael Schwarz had this to say about the acquisition, "Treeline has an excellent relationship with Purple Carrot. We hope this announcement will be an opportunity for us to continue working with them and expand our product offerings in their meal kits in the future."
Oisix is not a name that is familiar in the United States, but the massive publicly traded company has been very successful in Japan. As an 18-year-old company, Oisix is well-established. It provides over 30 different meal options every week, has a successful relationship with more than 4,000 farmers, and has seven distribution centers. Its efficient process of operations is something that many American companies have struggled to achieve.
Both companies hope that the acquisition will bring success to all parties. For Oisix, Purple Carrot means penetration into the US market. For Purple Carrot, the acquisition means gaining access to Oisix’s successful operations process and spreading plant-based eating throughout Japan. Purple Carrot founder Andy Levitt said, “They bring a whole new perspective that a domestic company would not bring forth. It allows us to really extend our reach and bring the first vegan meal kits to Japan. Our goal and our mission has always been to help more people eat more plants.”
The acquisition deal includes a total upfront payment of $12.8 million, with an earn-out potential of an additional $17.2 million through 2021. To allow a smooth transition, Purple Carrot will keep its Massachusetts based headquarters while launching a new offering in Japan.