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Instacart, the company that delivers groceries to your doorstep in as little as one hour, has nothing if not an exciting history.  Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta (who previously made his mark in the Amazon operations division) steered the company through a period of intense revenue growth: from $1 million in 2012 to over $100 million by 2014.

Almost as impressive as this scorching-hot revenue growth is how Mehta got his first big break with Instacart: by submitting his application Y Combinator… 2 months late. Getting through the YC process is challenging to say the least, but submitting your application 2 months late? Almost impossible.

 

Mehta’s story is one of resilience and persistence, a story of an inspiring entrepreneur. After being rejected around 10 times by different partners in YC, Mehta decided to try again but this time deliver his company with this pitch. He ordered a six-pack of beers for one of the YC members that rejected his application for a late entry. After that, YC got interested, Mehta got to answer the partners’ questions and it is all history, right now the company has a $2 billion valuation (4)  and a bright future ahead. [continue]

Brief Company Profile:

Instacart provides grocery delivery services to its customers in less than an hour. The Company uses a managed crowdsourcing platform to fulfill the customer’s orders. Customers are allowed to order grocery items from a variety of retail outlets through the Company’s website, Android App, or iOS App. Unlike most of the major online grocery stores, Instacart does not accumulate inventory in a warehouse. The Company rather allows the customers to shop from major outlets.

The internet-based grocery delivery service company has been making a name for itself due to its incredible growth trajectory and recent achievements:

  • Valuation of nearly $2 billion
  • Backed by some of the top VCs: Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures
  • Operating in 20 states across the US, and still expanding
  • Strategic partnerships with Whole Foods, Target, Costco, and Kroger


Instacart’s newest partnership with the Food Network was recently announced: Instacart is integrating with the Recipe Box and Grocery List across Food Network’s websites,FoodNetwork.com and Food.com” (2,3). This new partnership means a higher growth potential for the young company and a wider range customer base.

This partnership isn’t the only thing making news for Instacart: The company also made the CNBC Disruptor 50 list. (4) CNBC included Instacart in recognition of the company’s excellent performance in the supermarket and grocery industry.

The latest news on the company is that Instacart is trying an extension of its service allowing for pickup orders.(5) This means, no delivery and no Instacart workers. This kind of partnership with retailers is what has allowed the company to thrive in the tech+grocery market. With this new model, retailers are going to have the opportunity to get impulse buys from their customers when they go pick-up their orders at the store (5). It also broadens the price range for Instacart since now they will provide a cheaper alternative to delivery service.

Sources:

  1. https://techcrunch.com/2012/08/18/how-instacart-hacked-yc/
  2. http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/commentary-food-network-offering-shows-increasing-reach-e-commerce
  3. https://news.instacart.com/2016/06/02/announcing-food-network-recipes-now-available-to-instacart-users/
  4. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/06/instacart-2016-disruptor-50.html
  5. http://www.fastcompany.com/3060618/instacart-is-testing-a-pick-up-only-option