Maple — the delivery start-up with David Chang as an investor launched spring 2015 and raised $22 million in venture capital — has stopped delivery as of today and is pairing up with the U.K-based Deliveroo.
“The Maple of today still has many challenges to overcome,” reads the announcement. “. . . it became clear that we needed to close the Maple operation here in New York and look for a partner with scale — one that would allow us to leverage all that we had built across a broader platform.”
Deliveroo started in London four years ago and now operates across 140 cities in 12 countries. Some of the Maple team will join Deliveroo operations in London and “our technology will be used to help accelerate growth and efficiency across the platform.”
With a regularly-changing menu on its website, Maple launched with deep pockets and New York names, signing on chefs like Dan Kluger, Mark Ladner, and Brooks Headley on the board and offering limited edition desserts for delivery from Christina Tosi of Milk Bar and Ample Hills ice cream. Lunch was a flat rate of $12 while dinner has been $15, tip and delivery included — with a supposed delivery time of a half hour after placing the order. The chef making day-to-day menus had been Soa Davies, of Le Bernardin who had fairly recently moved to a consulting role.
The company announced it would expand to Midtown delivery in January last year, yet the expansion did not help the company’s profits. Recode wrote about Maple’s leaked financial documents in December, showing a loss on every meal in 2015, “resulting in an operating loss of $9 million for the year on $2.7 million in gross revenue.” By March 2016, profits bumped up to 30 cents a meal — a result of lowered food costs. Like DoorDash, Munchery, Postmates, and other delivery companies, Maple is among those characterized as “notorious cash burners.”
“We wanted to close by thanking all of you one last time for ordering,” reads the announcement, “for telling your friends to order, for rating us, and for telling us how we were doing so diligently and so often.”