Wonder, a US food start-up founded by former Walmart e-commerce head Marc Lore, has secured a $700 investment in its latest funding round to accelerate its expansion.

The company will use the funding to increase its store count from 11 to 35 by the end of 2024 and to 90 by the end of 2025, focusing on the Northeast US.

The funding round saw participation from all major existing Wonder shareholders, including Accel, Alpine, Bain Capital Ventures, Forerunner, GV, Harmony, NEA and Watar Partners.

New investors included Dragoneer, Jefferies, Red & Blue Ventures and CAZ Investments, and there has been a strategic investment from Nestlé. Lore himself is also investing $100m in this round.

The capital will be allocated to initiatives including the acceleration of Wonder’s physical retail locations, research and development, and bringing down unit economics.

In January 2023, Wonder shifted its business model from mobile food trucks to a ghost kitchen-style operation.

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It operates 10 kitchens in New Jersey and New York, offering delivery, in-location dining and pickup.

It plans to invest in research and development, targeting faster cook times, software enhancements, new menu items, new chefs and new restaurant partnerships.

Wonder will also invest in proprietary technology to improve operational efficiencies.

This includes back-end technology to reduce food waste, next-generation kitchen designs for better throughput and consistency, and an enhanced delivery network.

Lore said: “We will continue driving culinary innovation by aggressively investing in research and development, including faster cook times, software enhancements, new menu items, new chefs and iconic restaurant partnerships.

“Customers love features like multi-restaurant ordering and we’ll have many exciting new products and partnerships to talk about soon.”

In February 2024, Wonder opened its 11th location, the first in Pennsylvania and inside a Walmart store, in Quakertown.

Current locations are spread across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, including one on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Two more are scheduled to open in May within Walmart stores in Teterboro and Ledgewood, New Jersey.