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Instacart announced that it has acquired Unata, a Canadian startup that offers an all-in-one ecommerce platform for grocery retailers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded out of Toronto in 2009, Unata provides a cloud-based, white-label platform that brings together all the strands needed for grocers to sell online, while also offering in-store integrations via beacons for location-based marketing initiatives. The platform also joins the dots between the various systems retailers use, including point-of-sale and loyalty systems, leveraging data and machine learning to offer personalized recommendations for each shopper.

Above: Unata: Personalized recommendations

San Francisco-based Instacart partners with local stores to offer same-day deliveries on thousands of grocery products. The company has raised around $675 million in funding, to date, including a hefty $400 million raised last year. However, Unata is only its second known acquisition — Instacart previously acqui-hired the team behind Wedding Party.

As a result of this deal, Unata will become an independent subsidiary of Instacart and will continue to operate as is — with its own name and branding. It will remain in its existing HQ in Toronto and Unata CEO Chris Bryson will retain his current role, reporting to Instacart’s chief business officer, Nilam Ganenthiran.

“Unata and Instacart have long shared a vision of innovating the grocery industry and building the online grocery shopping experience of the future,” said Bryson. “By combining the power of our teams and technologies, we can achieve this vision faster and for the first time ever offer a fully comprehensive, configurable digital solution for grocery retailers of all sizes.”

Instacart CEO and founder Apoorva Mehta added that the acquisition will help Instacart continue to shape the future of online grocery shopping.

“Instacart’s mission has always been to be an independent partner to retailers and enable them to give their customers the best experiences using the best technology,” said Mehta. “This acquisition allows us to take that commitment to the next level. It represents a landmark win for retailers, who will benefit from Instacart’s scale, Unata’s highly configurable technology, and the deep grocery industry integrations this acquisition will enable.”

Instacart has hitherto operated only in the U.S., but in November it revealed plans to expand to Toronto and Vancouver via a tie-up with Canadian retailer Loblaw. So the decision to procure Unata, which is based in Toronto, is a timely one, as it gives Instacart a firmer on-the-ground presence in the region.

The transaction is expected to close soon, subject to “customary closing conditions.”


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