Type of site
|Headquarters||50 Beale Street|
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Area served||Select cities in the U.S. and Canada|
|Founder(s)||Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, Brandon Leonardo|
|Native client(s) on||iOS, Android|
Customers shop for groceries through the Instacart mobile app or Instacart.com from the company's more than 300 national, regional and local retailer partners. The order is shopped and delivered by an Instacart personal shopper. Up until the end of 2017, Instacart only had operations and services in the United States.
In November 2017, the company announced plans to also begin delivery in Canada.
Instacart's customers can access the service via the Instacart mobile app or website and begin shopping by selecting their city and store, then adding groceries to their digital cart. Customers can pay with personal debit or credit cards, Android Pay and Apple Pay.
As the business has developed, Instacart has established partnerships with more than 300 national, regional and local retailers. Instacart personal shoppers pick, pack and deliver the order within the customer’s designated time frame—within one hour or up to five days in advance..
For orders of $35 or more, the delivery fee is $3.99. With an Instacart Express membership for $9.99/month or an annual fee of $99, customers get unlimited, free delivery on orders over $35. Retail partners set the price of individual items on the Instacart marketplace. Today more than half of Instacart partners offer customers same as in-store pricing on the platform.
On April 11, 2019, the company expanded its services to offering an on-demand option for its workers, in order to allow workers to work more flexible schedules.
North American Expansion
As of March 2017[update], Instacart serviced 36 markets, composed of 1,200 cities in 25 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
In November 2017, Instacart announced a partnership with Loblaw Companies to begin delivery from select Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, and T&T Supermarket locations in Toronto and Vancouver. By the end of 2018, Instacart will deliver from these banners in 16 Canadian markets. They also offer delivery for products at Walmart Canada stores, Staples Canada and M&M Food Market.
In January 2018, the company acquired Toronto-based Unata, a white-label platform for grocers.
Wage theft and low pay
In March 2017, Instacart agreed to pay a $4.6 million class action settlement stemming from the misclassification of its shopper employees as independent contractors. The suit alleged 18 violations, including improper tip pooling and failure to reimburse workers for business expenses.
In February 2018, Instacart mistakenly withheld tips given by customers to shoppers, blaming a software bug. In addition, customers were often charged for service fees that were supposed to be waived.
In April 2018, Instacart instituted a controversial 5% service fee on all orders.
In November and December 2018, Instacart instituted a new pay system for its shoppers using customer tips as part of the shoppers' base pay; shoppers claimed this pay system resulted in substantially lower pay. As shoppers boycotted the lower-paying orders, Instacart customers posted on social media that their orders were being delayed.
After an online organizing campaign in which shoppers posted examples of payments as low as eighty cents per delivery attracted media and customer attention, Instacart announced in February 2019 that it would revise its pay system and give back pay to some workers. Under the new pay system, tips were no longer factored into the minimum base wages of $7 for a full-service shopping order and $5 for delivery only, but shoppers said they were still being underpaid, with wages sometimes as low as $2.74 an hour.
In February 2018, the company raised $200 million in a funding round led by Coatue Management, as well as Glade Brook Capital Partners and existing investors. In October 2018, Instacart raised $600 million in a funding round led by hedge fund D1 Capital Partners; the round valued the company at $7.6 billion.
In December 2018, Whole Foods, which had been bought by Amazon in 2017, dissolved its partnership with Instacart.
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When that badge says 'Prices are same as in-store' (which is most of the time!), it means that the prices for that store's items on Instacart are, on average, the same as the prices that retailer regularly charges in their physical stores (more details below). For stores where the prices on Instacart represent a markup over in-store prices, we clearly display that prices 'May be higher than in-store.'
- Manjoo, Farhad (April 29, 2015). "Instacart's Bet on Online Grocery Shopping". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
Last year, it grew from serving just a few markets to 15 cities, and this year, it plans to expand to even more.
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