Instacart Closes $350 Million Fundraising Round To Accelerate Expansion

Instacart raised $350 million in a Series E financing round led by Coatue Management, putting the grocery delivery company’s valuation at $4.35 billion. The round includes $200 million in funding that Instacart previously announced in a February blog post. The company has raised more than $1 billion since its founding in 2012.

Instacart will use the capital to double the size of its team, further expand its footprint across North America and invest in new products and services. The company has partnered with major grocery retailers including Kroger, Albertsons, Publix, Costco, Ahold Delhaize, HEB, Loblaw and Sam’s Club, and recently added BJ’s Wholesale Club and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market as well.

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Whole Foods Delivery Beats Kroger On Price In Cincinnati Market

Whole Foods may still have high in-store prices, but the grocery retailer is beating Kroger when it comes to grocery delivery in Kroger’s home town of Cincinnati, according to Supermarket News. A report from Barclays Capital found a $45 to $50 basket from Whole Foods purchased through Amazon Prime Now costs 2% to 7% less than the same food ordered from Kroger through Instacart.

The price check didn’t take into account the $99 annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, as the large number of customers in the U.S. (a reported 75 million) means most shoppers wouldn’t view the cost as an incremental price, according to Barclays.

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Walmart Will Expand Grocery Delivery To Reach 40% Of U.S. Households

Walmart plans to expand its online grocery delivery option to more than 100 metro areas by the end of 2018, reaching more than 40% of U.S. households. Additionally, the retailer will grow its online grocery pickup service from 1,200 stores to more than 2,200.

The grocery delivery program does not require a subscription and offers same-day shipping with a flat $9.95 fee and a $30 minimum order.

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H-E-B Expands Delivery Offerings With Favor Acquisition

By 2024, 70% of U.S. consumers will be shopping for groceries online, according to a recent study from Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute. Supermarkets are scrambling to set up customer-facing ordering and delivery solutions to handle this growing wave. H-E-B has made a rare acquisition, purchasing Favor Delivery for an undisclosed sum.

Favor, founded in 2013, now serves 50 cities in Texas after doubling its footprint in 2017. The Austin, Texas-based company deploys 50,000 contract delivery people, called Runners, to bring groceries and restaurant orders to consumers.

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HelloFresh Plans IPO: Can It Thrive In The Crowded Meal Kit Market?

The recent rise of meal kit delivery services has encouraged yet another company to seek a big payout. HelloFresh announced plans to file for an IPO, to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company, which is majority owned by German e-Commerce investor Rocket Internet, plans to raise up to $352 million to support the offering.

Proceeds from this funding will be used primarily to finance the company’s long-term growth strategy, including the potential addition of new business lines.

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What U.S. Retailers Can Learn From Japan’s Co-Op Deli Home Delivery Service

In this exclusive Q&A with Japan’s Co-Op Deli Home Delivery Director, Junichi Nagashima, Retail TouchPoints uncovers the strategies and technologies driving the success of Co-Op Deli Consumer’s Co-Operative Union. With 4.64 million members (30% of households in the areas it serves), Co-Op Deli generated 386.5 billion yen ($3.45 billion) in home delivery sales and another 131.6 billion yen ($1.18 billion) in store sales in 2016.

Established in 1992 as a membership organization in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Co-Op Deli has been a global leader in developing the grocery home delivery market. UK businesses kicked off their efforts in the late 1990s; the U.S. has lagged behind, starting in earnest only in the early 2000s.

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New FreshDirect Funding Shows Potential Of Online Grocery Sector

Online grocery delivery company FreshDirect has reeled in its greatest funding round yet: $189 million. The funding has to be a positive sign not only for FreshDirect’s business but for the online grocery delivery sector a whole, as it signals the value that financial markets are placing on the business model.

With competition from big players such as AmazonFresh, Google Express, Instacart and Blue Apron lying on the horizon, as well as retailers such as Walmart and Kroger making hefty investments in curbside pickup options, FreshDirect will need all the assistance it can get if it intends to expand operations outside the Northeast. Jason Ackerman, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshDirect, revealed in a statement that the funding will:

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Grocery Delivery Platform Shipt Scores $20.1 Million To Expand Business

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1shiptOnline grocery marketplace Shipt has secured $20.1 million in funding. The Series A round was led by Greycroft Partners, Harbert Growth Partners and e.ventures. Shipt plans to use the funds to continue to scale its business to new markets, develop more partnerships with grocery retailers and expand its team.

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AmazonFresh Expansion Capitalizes On UK Online Grocery Growth, Demand For Cheaper Food

Amazon is expanding its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service to new markets, including Boston and the UK in 2016, according to a report from Re/code. The expansion will be the first in the past 18 months for Amazon, which has slowly rolled out the service in parts of Washington State, California, New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia.

The e-Commerce giant had plans to launch the grocery service in the UK as early as July 2015, according to The Times. In March 2016, Amazon partnered with UK-based supermarket chain Morrisons to deliver groceries via its Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Prime Pantry services, further indicating that the retailer has serious plans for its grocery offerings in the country.

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Detecting Fraud To Confirm Transactions In 8 Minutes Or Less

delivery.com 1“No one thinks of fraud as a sales enablement tool,” but for many retailers it’s the reality of today’s business environment, said Colin Sims, COO of Delivery.com. With an effective fraud solution in place, sales and loyalty can improve dramatically. Case in point: Delivery.com.

Delivery.com has eight minutes to identify payment fraud in order to keep customers. This high-speed, high-velocity business promises food deliveries from local merchants delivered quickly. “We don’t have the luxury to spend time reviewing credit card information,” explained Sims in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We have to confirm orders within eight minutes.”

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