Apoorva Mehta founded the company in 2012 to help city dwellers shop for groceries from home. On paper, Instacart’s valuation sits around $400 million, a VentureBeat source claims. This valuation mirrors a figure previously cited by TechCrunch.
Existing investors, including Sequoia, also participated in the round, as did Box chief executive Aaron Levie and Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
To monetize, Instacart sets its own prices for goods — a decision that recently resulted in a cease and desist order from a key supplier, Trader Joes, a source familiar with the matter claims. That system quietly inserts additional fees and often pushes the price of goods above other competing services.
In a phone interview, Mehta refused to comment on the Trader Joes ban.
Now live in 10 U.S. cities, Instacart plans to launch in 7 additional cities by the end of the year. Instacart claims its revenue has grown by 15x over the past nine months — although such a stat is meaningless without detailed figures.
In an official release, Instacart touts that it’s “the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour.” However, competing startups like WunWun and Postmates advertise similar services.
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