Investors are making it rain for Instacart ($PRIVATE:INSTACART). Just two months ago, the grocery delivery app raked in a $14 billion valuation off a $225 million funding round. Some companies would be happy to sit on that for a while - but not Instacart. A few days ago it announced it had raised another $100 million in funding as the company continues to soar.   

Instacart's business has it bringing consumers not just delivery, but also groceries - something that mergers of scale, like JustEat-Grubhub, may never cover. Others, like Uber, now want to invade Instacart's household goods delivery territory, and still more startups - like Doordash - are also out to steal its clout. It's not clear that any of these businesses can catch up, however. 

A service that brings customers groceries without having to leave the house is especially useful during a pandemic. That, and Instacart relies on cheap labor - labor so cheap, in fact, that Instacart shoppers organized a strike at the end of march demanding higher pay and protections if they were going to be endangering themselves at grocery stores during a global pandemic. But the strike simply hasn’t done enough to curb Instacart’s meteoric rise to success. 

Instacart App Store reviews have skyrocketed an obscene 4981% since 2018, a rate of growth most startups would salivate at the mere thought of. From March 1 to June 1, Instacart’s total ratings shot up by another 700,000 - a 100% increase in just a 3-month period. All the while the app has managed to maintain a 4.8/5 average rating. It’s also getting more reviews on Google Play (not shown), where its count increased 151% since January. Customers are pleased with Instacart, to say the least.

Even a huge workers' strike didn’t stop people from signing up to work for Instacart. Linkedin headcount increased 28% from the end of March when the strike began in earnest, the largest 3-month spike in the company's history.

Job postings, however, are on the overall downward trend from the new year and especially from an all-time high last year. But that’s not always a bad thing. With a $14 billion valuation and funding piling on non-stop, one has to wonder if Instacart will soon look to go public or acquire a competitor to consolidate their market share. Recently we’ve seen major acquisitions take place when a company’s growth has stalled out, or to recoup losses in other parts of the business (here’s looking at you, Uber). Instacart hasn’t reached anything resembling a plateau so far, so it may still be a while. But it’s also easy to imagine how these graphs, and the big bucks, might shoot up even higher at rumblings of an IPO.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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