Instacart has big plans. The grocery delivery app saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic, as Americans stayed home and avoided supermarkets' crowded, high-touch environments. While investors have expressed concern about the company's post-vaccine future, Instacart is gearing up to expand beyond U.S. kitchens and go public.
The San Fransisco-based company is in talks to put its stock market debut on hold until the fourth quarter, or several months after a majority of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19, the Information reports. Instacart is aiming to position itself as an Amazon competitor by adding a wider variety of products and retailers. Last year, it announced a partnership with Sephora, now offering same-day cosmetics delivery. It's also looking to expand into countries besides the U.S. and Canada.
Over the last year, Instacart's Apple App Store ratings have exploded nearly 200%, from 674,000 ratings to two million. Ratings surged 87% in the first two months of the pandemic alone. The rapid ascension follows four years of steady growth, from 1,680 ratings in 2015 to 178,000 in 2019.
Over the last year, the number of people with Instacart listed as their employer on LinkedIn has increased by 92%, from 5,170 to almost 10,000.
That headcount includes a new chief financial officer, chief operating officer, a group of vice presidents, and one big name. Instacart recently nabbed Max Eulenstein, a senior product leader at Instagram, to run the main app’s interface and user experience, according to the Information. Apparently, the team is expected to grow by 50% this year.
Instacart is currently valued at $39 billion following a new round of funding that added $265 million to the company’s finances. The early March valuation was the second time Instacart’s valuation had doubled since the start of the pandemic. Under five months ago, the company raised $200 million in a deal that valued it at $17.7 billion.
The grocery delivery company is now the second largest U.S.-based unicorn, behind SpaceX. There's no set timeline for Instacart's listing, which will mark one of the most anticipated public stock debuts of 2021.
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