Instacart is a mobile app that lets you buy groceries from your phone and have them delivered to your door within an hour.
Users scroll and search for the grocery items they want and tap to order. Instacart representatives assemble the order from the nearest grocery store and deliver it within the hour. The inventory includes tens of thousands of supermarket staples such as produce, alcohol, and toiletries.
Founder Apoorva Mehta’s background (he worked at Amazon) inspired him to make the grocery-delivery process more convenient and efficient. The company has already seen rapid growth, and people use the app an average 1.2 times a week.
Mehta is one of the only single founder companies currently participating in YCombinator. He was a late addition to the current class, receiving an invitation through a non-traditional route: he had beer delivered via Instacart to a YC partner, who then invited him in for a meeting.
The service is so far available three cities in Northern California — San Francisco, Mountain View, and Palo Alto — between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.