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Instacart logo and wordmark.svg
Type of site
Founded 2012; 5 years ago (2012)
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served Select U.S. cities: Atlanta, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Boulder, CO, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Irvine, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, OR, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and more
Founder(s) Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, Brandon Leonardo
Industry Retail
Services Grocery Delivery
Slogan(s) Groceries Delivered in an Hour
Native client(s) on iOS, Android

Instacart is an American company that operates as a same-day grocery delivery service. Customers select groceries through a web application from various retailers and delivered by a personal shopper. As of 2017, Instacart only has operations and services in the United States.

The service[edit]

Instacart's service is mainly provided through a smartphone app, available on iOS and Android platforms, apart from its website. Customers can pay with Android Pay and Apple Pay on their respective platforms.[1] Initially Instacart shoppers simply went to a store and purchased the ordered items at retail and, in addition to the delivery charge, added a markup of 10 to 20 percent[citation needed]. As the business has developed, the firm has established relationships with grocery firms which share their (store) existing markup, allowing Instacart users to shop at in-store prices.[2][3]


Instacart was started by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon employee.[4] The company launched its service in San Francisco, Mountain View and Palo Alto.[5] The startup company has a $2 billion valuation by investors as of May 2015.[3] Investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Comcast Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group, Thrive Capital, Valiant Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator and Angel Investor Martin Romero. As of January 2015, total funding was about $275 million.[6] At that time, Forbes named Instacart "the Most Promising Company in America".[7] In 2016, Whole Foods Market Inc. invested in Instacart in conjunction with its partnership.[8]

In April 2015, the firm had about 200 employees. Actual shopping and delivery is done primarily by independent contractors, though a new policy will allow some Instacart shoppers to choose to be part-time employees.[9][10] During 2014, Instacart expanded to 15 cities: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Boulder; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; San Jose; Seattle and Washington, DC, with plans to expand further in 2015.[3] In September 2015, the company hired Ravi Gupta as its first CFO.[11]

In September 2016, the company announced an expansion to their North Chicago Zone[12] and in October 2016, also expansion of their Orange County and Minneapolis coverage areas.[13][14] As of March 2017, Instacart services 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.[15] In March 2017, it was reported that Instacart raised a massive new funding round of $400 million dollars in new venture capital which valued the grocery delivery service at approximately $3.4 billion dollars.[16][17]


  1. ^ "Instacart Announces Integration with Apple Pay". Instacart (Press release). September 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Greater Pricing Transparency". Instacart (Press release). April 23, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 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.' 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ "Instacart Bags $2.3M to Become the Amazon of Groceries". Wall Street Journal. October 25, 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Demicheva, Valerie (8 March 2013). "Concierge grocery shopping". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "We’ve Closed $220M Series C Round of Financing Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers". Instacart (Press release). January 13, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015. Yesterday we announced that we’ve closed a $220M round of Series C financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Other participants in the round include Comcast Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group, Thrive Capital, Valiant Capital and previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia. This brings our total funding to date to approximately $275M. 
  7. ^ Solomon, Brian (January 21, 2015). "America's Most Promising Company: Instacart, The $2 Billion Grocery Delivery App". Forbes. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ Huet, Ellen; Barinka, Alex & Giammona, Craig (September 23, 2016). "Whole Foods Invests in Instacart at 2014 Valuation". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  9. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (May 21, 2014). "Grocery Deliveries in Sharing Economy". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2015. It operates according to a decentralized business model that borrows from services like Uber, Airbnb and other firms in the so-called sharing economy. 
  10. ^ O'Brien, Sarah Ashley. "The Uber effect: Instacart shifts away from contract workers". CNN Money. 
  11. ^ Loizos, Connie (September 29, 2015). "Instacart Hires Its First CFO: Ravi Gupta". TechCrunch. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "North Chicago, there's more of us to love!". News at Instacart. 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  13. ^ "We’re Doubling Our Orange County Coverage!". News at Instacart. 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  14. ^ "Minneapolis, We’re Expanding!". News at Instacart. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  15. ^ "Instacart Service Areas". Instacart. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  16. ^ Primack, Dan (2017-03-01). "Instacart is raising a massive new funding round". Axios. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  17. ^ Fickenscher, Lisa (2017-03-09). "Instacart now valued at $3.4B after major investment". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 

External links[edit]