Why serial entrepreneur Marc Lore is pouring $100 million of his own money into a food delivery business

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Marc Lore is hoping a new cash infusion will add some wonder to his vision for food delivery.

The longtime entrepreneur is fresh from raising $700 million to fund growth initiatives at his food delivery startup Wonder. About $100 million is coming from himself, Lore told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. The company has now raised $1.5 billion, with investors ranging from Amex Ventures to Nestle to Bain Capital Ventures.

Wonder will use the cash to expand from 11 locations to 35 by year-end. Lore is targeting 90 spots by the end of 2025.

The mission statement for Wonder is to democratize gourmet food. Lore is doing that by licensing the menus of popular chefs such as Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, making their iconic dishes inside Wonder’s kitchens, and delivering them to diners’ doorsteps.

“We have proven the business model,” he contends.

Lore said a chunk of the money will go into various R&D initiatives, such as developing automated kitchens. “We’re continuing to look into what the next-generation kitchen looks like,” he added.

To aid in the business’s growth, Lore purchased meal delivery outfit Blue Apron for $103 million in late 2023.

After founding Wonder in 2018, Lore took back the CEO reins in late 2022 and shifted the startup from delivering gourmet meals in food trucks to opening up physical locations. Lore thinks he could eventually have thousands of these marketplace-like kitchens across the country.

Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S. and former founder and CEO of Jet.com, smiles at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeMarc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S. and former founder and CEO of Jet.com, smiles at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Marc Lore, now CEO of Wonder, smiles at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017. (REUTERS / Reuters)

To say Lore, 52, is a serial entrepreneur with a long resume of successes is an understatement.

He founded Quidsi in 2005, a business made famous by its domain name, Diapers.com. Amazon (AMZN) bought Quidsi in 2010 for about $545 million. Lore worked at Amazon until 2013.

He then founded delivery startup Jet.com in 2014, which Walmart acquired two years later for $3.3 billion in cash. Lore then joined the retail giant to lead its US e-commerce operation, overseeing a complete rebirth of its digital business, including introducing same-day delivery services and expanding Walmart Marketplace.

Walmart shut down Jet.com in March 2020, and Lore left his post as Walmart’s US e-commerce chief in early 2021.

Since leaving Walmart, he’s launched Wonder and has been looking to start a utopian society dubbed Telosa. He is also now part owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves along with former MLB star Alex Rodriguez.

When asked if he ever gets worried Wonder won’t work out, Lore sounds like a typical entrepreneur with a lot of wins on the scoreboard.

“I don’t waste any time thinking about what went wrong in the past, and don’t spend any time worrying about the future. It’s always in the now,” said Lore.

Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance’s Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter/X @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on deals, mergers, activist situations, or anything else? Email [email protected].

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