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Healthy Meal Kit Startup Hungryroot Raises More Than $3M

The company is looking to expand its footprint

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Restaurant delivery may be the hottest sector in America's food market, but startups creating packaged meal kits aren't far behind. Hungryroot, which launched last October, falls in the latter camp, and it attempts to stand out by focusing on healthy food that people actually want to eat. Hungryroot seems to be finding success, as TechCrunch reports it raised $3.7 million in a recent round of funding.

The core of Hungryroot's business model is everyday food with vegetable substitutes on the ingredients lists. Think carrot pasta, cauliflower couscous, black bean brownie batter, and chick pea pancake batter. All of the meal kits are gluten-free and check in under 500 calories. On its website, Hungryroot says its goal "is to unleash the flavor of vegetables, bring them to the center of your plate, and make them craveable."

'Now is really the time to accelerate the business.'

" The packaged food space is ready for disruption, particularly in the vegetable category. Fresh vegetables typically have a short shelf life or require too much preparation, while frozen vegetables often sacrifice quality and nutrition for convenience," founder and CEO Ben McKean said when he announced his company last year. "Hungryroot provides people with fresh, satisfying, full servings of vegetables that are ready in the time it takes to boil water. Only 6 percent of Americans currently eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, and we think we have a chance to change that number."

After investments from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Crosslink Capital, among other venture capital firms, the company's total funding now sits at around $6 million. McKean tells TechCrunch "now is really the time to accelerate the business." Hungryroot first partnered with Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct for shipping, and McKean is eyeing an expansion to in-store placement at Whole Foods.

Hungryroot is similar to Purple Carrot, the plant-based meal kit delivery service backed by New York Times alum Mark Bittman. As opposed to offering comfort food made with vegetable substitutes, Purple Carrot focuses on more traditional vegetable-centric dishes.