Maple, the trendy app-based food delivery service backed by David Chang, is done in New York after just a few years.
In a letter to customers posted on the company's website Monday, co-founders Caleb Merkl and Akshay Navle said operations would cease immediately. Backed by Chang of Momofuku fame, the gourmet startup launched in April 2015 pledged to bring "fresh meals made from the finest ingredients we can get our hands on, all prepared by some of New York's top culinary minds," to your door in roughly 15 minutes.
Tax and gratuity were included in the $12 lunch or $15 dinner costs, and the customer base exploded fairly quickly. In considering "what's next," though, the co-founders decided they needed to think bigger picture.
"We set out two years ago with a big idea about a new approach to food delivery and the lofty ambition of turning an industry on its head," the letter said. "Serving thousands of meals daily across Manhattan is no small operational feat, and our team orchestrated this dance with a grace that is rare in the face of such unrelenting expectations."
As Merkl and Navle sought to evolve, they decided they needed a "partner with scale -- one that would allow us to leverage all that we had built across a broader platform." They found that in Deliveroo, an England-based food delivery company that started from a local office in London and grew to operate in 140 cities (12 countries) across the world.
"As a result, some members 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," the letter says.
Merkl and Navle didn't indicate whether they expected Maple to return to New York City customers in some form at any point in the future, but simply thanked patrons for their loyalty and referrals.