- Wonder, a mobile restaurant delivery service, secured $350 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, Marc Lore, Wonder’s founder, CEO and chairman, said Tuesday in a LinkedIn post.
- The platform, in which chefs cook meals curbside from mobile food vans, is available in 22 towns in New Jersey and services over 130,000 households. The company, which has created 19 mobile restaurants, will use this funding to scale within the tri-state area.
- The company, which Lore introduced six months ago, has already raised $900 million in debt and equity and is worth about $3.5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
While Wonder’s current market reach is limited, the company plans to expand into new regions across the U.S. by 2035, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Wonder’s commissary kitchens source the ingredients, but orders are cooked, finished and plated within mobile kitchens in front of consumers’ homes. The food is served as soon as it is ready. The company has worked with chefs like Bobby Flay, Nancy Silverton and Daisuke Nakazawa, Lore said in a December LinkedIn post. Cooking curbside would solve several problems associated with food delivery, including customers receiving lukewarm, soggy food.
The company also delivers food from local restaurants through its courier service Envoy. It plans to deliver ready-to-heat meals and meal kits in the future.
The next couple of months could prove difficult for the company, however, given high fuel prices and the ongoing labor shortage. These challenges could slow Wonder down from reaching into new areas of New Jersey. Some food delivery couriers are starting to turn away from the food delivery business due to rising gas prices. Aggregators like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats have tried to help drivers shoulder the price of gas with incentives or fuel surcharges, but some of these programs have already ended.
Chefs are also expecting high salaries and line cooks are in short supply, which could make it difficult to keep Wonder’s mobile food trucks fully staffed, especially if this service increases in popularity.
Lore is familiar with delivery, however, as he founded e-commerce site Jet.com, which sold to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016. Following the acquisition, Lore headed up Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce division until January 2021.