Maple — the food delivery start-up backed by Momofuku chef and soon-to-be fried chicken mogul David Chang — just raised $22 million in funding. According to Fortune, the New York City-based company, which raised $4 million in a previous funding round, hopes to "reinvent the restaurant-delivery game by opening a delivery-only kitchen." They plan on using the money to hire staff and build out the company's infrastructure.
Maple is slated to launch in NYC within the next few months and will deliver "ready-to-eat meals of restaurant quality" to customers that fall between $10 to $15. Eater NY notes that the company will feature a "rotating seasonal menu," but will not offer dishes from specific restaurants, unlike competitors like Caviar. Instead, co-founders Caleb Merkl and Akshay Navle tell Fortune that they launched the company "after realizing how inconsistent and disappointing it could be to order delivery from restaurants." According to the founders, restaurant food often arrived cold and poorly packaged: Maple hopes to differentiate itself by controlling the entire process — from food preparation to delivery — much like San Francisco-based services such as Munchery, Sprig, and SpoonRocket.
While delivery competitors like Seamless currently only focus on one area — in this case, online ordering — that may soon all change. In February, GrubHub, which merged with Seamless in 2013, revealed that it plans on launching its own delivery fleet similar to platforms like Caviar and Deliveroo, which employs its own delivery drivers instead of relying on restaurants to deliver the food. In-house couriers often help speed up delivery times: In November, Maple promised that its meals would be delivered within 15 minutes of the company receiving the order. There is no word yet on whether the company plans to expand to other cities, but its competitors have seen success in cities like San Francisco, London, and Chicago.