Instacart Startup Story - Delivering Groceries Instantly

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
May 16, 2021 9 min read
Instacart Startup Story - Delivering Groceries Instantly

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Instacart.

Instacart is a supermarket delivery and pick-up service based in the United States and Canada. A website and a smartphone app are used to provide services. Customers can order groceries from participating stores and have a personal shopper do the shopping for them according to their will. Founded by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo in 2012.

The CEO and Co-founder of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta founded 20 businesses in the early 2010s, including a social network for lawyers and an ad network for gaming firms, as part of a surge of entrepreneurial spirit. Mehta developed the method, which targeted his former employer, using his background as an Amazon supply chain engineer.

Know more about the Instacart Startup Story, its business model, revenue, competitors, funding, investors & more in the post ahead.

Instacart - Company Highlights

Startup Name Instacart
Owner Maplebear Inc
Headquarters San Francisco, California, US
Industry Grocery Delivery, Retail
Founders Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, Brandon Leonardo
Founded 2012
Current CEO Apoorva Mehta
Revenue $1.5 billion (2020)
Total Funding $2.41 billion
Valuation $39 billion (2021)
Website instacart.com

About Instacart and How it Works?
Instacart - Recent News
Instacart - Name, Logo and Tagline
Instacart - Founder and History
Instacart - Mission and Vision
Instacart - Partners
Instacart - Business Model and Revenue Model
Instacart - Revenue and Growth
Instacart - Funding and Investors
Instacart - Acquisitions
Instacart - Competitors
Instacart - Challenges Faced
Instacart - Future Plans
Instacart - FAQs

Instacart - Recent News

March 2021 - Instacart, a US grocery delivery service, is considering going public through a direct listing, fearful of missing out on money through a typical initial public offering (IPO).

Instacart will become the latest company to forego an initial public offering (IPO), which has been the primary route to a stock market launch for decades, because it risks selling the offering too low in comparison to where its shares end up trading. A direct listing occurs when a company goes public without first raising funds via a stock sale.

About Instacart and How it Works?

Instacart Inc. is a corporation that provides same-day grocery delivery services. Customers can order groceries from a variety of retailers through an online application portal and have them delivered by personal shoppers. Customers in the United States can use Instacart.

Food and household essentials are sourced from a variety of local stores by the company. Customers can place orders from several stores at once and receive same-day delivery.

In terms of their own implementation, Instacart has a nice app that makes ordering and reordering favorite products easy. Customer service is excellent; they go out of their way to ensure that the customer is satisfied. Instacart has been been refining features/processes for dealing with product substitutions, shopper mistakes, and promoting tipping.


Grofersโ€”Grocery Delivery At Your Doorstep With Just One Click
Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified informationon different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on. As we move forward in the world of modernization, we tend to scroll the screensof our mobile phoโ€ฆ

Instacart - Name, Logo and Tagline

Instacart is a same-day grocery delivery service that promises delivery in as little as one hour, or in other words, instantly. The business, which currently focuses on delivering groceries and household essentials, plans to expand into other verticals in the near future.

Instacart Success Story
Instacart logo

Instacart's slogan, "groceries delivered in an hour," is all too common in today's world, which expects everything to be available with a tap on a smartphone.

Instacart - Founder and History

Instacart was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon.com employee and entrepreneur and his friends, Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo.

Instacart' s Founders
Instacart Founders - Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, Brandon Leonardo.

Apoorva was born in India and immigrated to Canada with his family in the year 2000. He earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2008. He was a part of the Summer 2012 batch of Y Combinator, which contributed to the launch of Instacart.

Instacart began operations in San Francisco. The company had around 200 employees by April 2015. It implemented a new policy in June that allowed certain shoppers to opt to work part-time, beginning with Chicago and Boston and then expanding to Atlanta, Miami, and Washington, D.C. the following month.

Instacart - Mission and Vision

"Our goal is to build a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together," says Instacart's mission statement. Instacart aims to be the service to 'deliver your groceries within an hour'.

Instacart - Partners

Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam's Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans are only a few of the national and regional stores that Instacart works with. Customers love the Instacart marketplace, which has over 300 stores and trusted local grocers.


BigBasket Success Story - Indiaโ€™s Largest Online Grocer
Today, BigBasket is the Indiaโ€™s largest online grocer that receives over 100,000orders per day. Online grocery shopping is fast gaining popularity among theIndians. According to a Redseer report, Indiaโ€™s online grocery retail market isall set to touch $10.5 billion by 2023. A company that holds aโ€ฆ

Instacart - Business Model and Revenue Model

Instacart uses a shared economy-based business model to offer hyper-local on-demand grocery delivery by linking consumers with personal shoppers. Instacart does not own a grocery store; instead, it serves as a marketplace for grocery stores to sell their wares.

Customers can use the mobile app to choose their preferred grocery store, browse through grocery items, add quantity, and confirm their order. The shoppers are self-employed or part-time Instacart employees who obtain the order, shop for the products requested by the customer, and deliver them to their door. Customers pay using the app and receive their goods without having to leave the house.

Instacart makes money from the companies' distribution and placement fees.

Instacart - Revenue and Growth

  • Instacart reportedly generated $1.5 billion revenue in 2020, with $35 billion worth of sales
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, Instacart hit its first profitable month, netting $10 million
  • Instacart has an estimated 9.6 million active users and over 500,000 shoppers who pick up the items
  • In March 2021, Instacart was valued at $39 billion

Although Instacart does not release usage figures, in the first half of 2020, it added 300,000 more "shoppers," or riders who pick up and deliver groceries. It employed fewer than 100,000 people at the end of 2019. With $35 billion in grocery sales in 2020, it will employ 350,000 more people.


Watasale - The future of Grocery Stores in India
Imagine a store where you can just enter, get your groceries and other items,pack your stuff and walk out of the store without having to wait in a queue forpayment. Indiaโ€™s first cashier-less store - Watasale opened up by a Kochi-basedstartup [https://startuptalky.com/successful-startups-in-kerala/โ€ฆ

Instacart - Funding and Investors

Instacart has raised a total funding of approximately $2.41 Billion from investors like Tiger Global Management, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Coatue among others.

As of March 2021, Instacart is considering going public through a direct listing, fearful of missing out on money through a typical initial public offering (IPO).

Here is the Instacart Funding details -

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Mar 2, 2021 Venture Round $265M Andreessen Horowitz, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price
Oct 8, 2020 Venture Round $200M D1 Capital Partners, Valiant Peregrine Fund
Jul 3, 2020 Private Equity Round $100M T. Rowe Price
Jun 11, 2020 Venture Round $225M DST Global, General Catalyst
Nov 15, 2018 Series F $271M Tiger Global Management
Oct 16, 2018 Series F $600M D1 Capital Partners
Apr 5, 2018 Series E $150M Coatue
Feb 12, 2018 Series E $200M Coatue
Mar 8, 2017 Series D $400M Sequoia Capital
Mar 10, 2016 Funding Round โ€” Whole Foods Market

JioMart VS BigBasket: Top Contenders Of Online Grocery Market
In the year 2019, Reliance Industries launched their own online groceriesordering website called JioMart, this was meant to be an alternative for theother grocery websites like BigBasket which is a well-established company in themarket for the last few years. BigBasket has the experience and expeโ€ฆ

Instacart - Acquisitions

Instacart has acquired 3 companies to date which are - MightySignal, Unata and Wedding Party. The deal amount of the transactions were undisclosed.

Instacart's Acquisitions details are as follows-

Acquiree Name About Acquiree Date
MightySignal A mobile application index that enables businesses to make sense of data patterns generated by mobile app companies. Nov 5, 2018
Unata A platform that provides Omni-commerce for retailers, connecting digital touchpoints to personalize shoppersโ€™ experiences. Jan 16, 2018
Wedding Party An app that collects wedding photos from guests and provides updates on the wedding details. Aug 4, 2015

Dโ€™Mart: Most Successful Indian Chain of Hypermarkets | Dโ€™Mart Case Study
Dโ€™Mart is an Indian chain of hypermarkets established by DMart owner RadhakishanDamani on May 15, 2002. DMart has 214 stores in 72 cities across 11 states inIndia including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, National Capital Region, Tamil Naduโ€ฆ

Instacart - Competitors

Amazon Fresh (which uses the Webvan model), Google Shopping Express, and others are competitors (non-perishable items at the moment). Amazon and Google are also well-known brands with deep pockets. Uber Rush may be able to penetrate this market. Uber Eats, Munchery, Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh are all meal delivery services that compete with Instacart.

Instacart - Challenges Faced

  • Dependencies on grocery store participation
  • Fierce competitors
  • Process standardization

Flipkart Online Shopping - Latest News, Subsidiaries, Owner, Business Model
Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified informationon different startups and organizations. The content in this post has beenapproved by the organization it is based on. Donโ€™t you think online buying and selling has become an essential part of ourlives? Youth and aduโ€ฆ

Instacart - Future Plans

Instacart is making several big improvements to its business model as part of its plan to help grocers own the digital food future. As part of its effort to boost grocery e-commerce for its retailer partners, the organization is investing its capital in a variety of new ways.

Investing in helping retailers achieve greater operational efficiencies through e-commerce, enhancing customer service, and further scaling its technological teams to better meet the increased customer demand for food delivery and pickup are just a few of them.

The business believes the industry should concentrate on delighting consumers, and that aim was a guiding principle when it increased its customer service team from 1,200 to 18,000 agents early in the pandemic. Late deliveries, missing products, incorrect item substitutions, and out-of-stocks are common complaints among grocery e-commerce customers which the company has taken care of.

Instacart - FAQs

What does Instacart do?

Instacart Inc. is a corporation that provides same-day grocery delivery services based in the United States.

Who founded Instacart?

Instacart was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon.com employee and entrepreneur.

What companies do Instacart compete with?

Amazon Fresh (which uses the Webvan model), Google Shopping Express, and others are competitors (non-perishable items at the moment). Amazon and Google are also well-known brands with deep pockets. Uber Rush may be able to penetrate this market.

How does Instacart make money?

Instacart uses a shared economy-based business model to offer hyper-local on-demand grocery delivery by linking consumers with personal shoppers. Instacart does not own a grocery store; instead, it serves as a marketplace for grocery stores to sell their wares.

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