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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BJ’s Will Expand Same-Day Delivery Chainwide Via Instacart Partnership

BJ’s Wholesale Club has expanded a partnership with Instacart to offer members same-day delivery from all 215 clubs on the East Coast. Members can shop BJ’s same-day delivery service through BJ’s has partnered with Instacart since March 2014, but only offered same-day delivery from 18 locations at the end of 2017.

BJ’s members will now have access to same-day delivery on thousands of items, including premium deli meats and cheeses, produce, meat and frozen foods, in addition to household items like diapers, paper goods, nutritional supplements and pet products.

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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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With $200M In New Funding, CEO Declares Instacart Is ‘Just Getting Started’

Instacart logoA battle of the titans continues to play out as Amazon and Instacart each move to capture more convenience-hungry grocery customers. In a Feb. 12 blog post, Instacart Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta declared that the five-year-old home delivery service “is just getting started,” as he announced a new $200 million funding round that raises Instacart’s valuation to approximately $4.2 billion.

“In 2017, the online grocery market reached a tipping point,” Mehta wrote. “Offering customers the ability to buy their groceries online went from being a nice to have to being mission critical for grocery retailers.” He noted that 70 million households in the U.S. and Canada have access to Instacart delivery services from nearly 200 grocery partners, including seven of the top eight North American supermarket retailers.

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Unata Acquisition Adds Digital Coupons, Voice Shopping To Instacart

Instacart has acquired Unata, a digital grocery solutions provider, boosting the capabilities of a key player in the online grocery market as it tries to fend off Amazon. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Bloomberg reported that the acquisition is valued at approximately $65 million.

Instacart expanded from 30 to more than 190 markets after raising $400 million in 2017, and the company hopes to continue its growth pace with a new set of offerings. The Unata product, unlike Instacart’s, is designed to enable grocers to create apps and web sites for consumers to order products, and includes features such as digital coupons, purchase tracking, online circulars, push notifications and deal suggestions. Additionally, Unata uses proprietary algorithms to create personalized experiences for shoppers, based on machine learning and data analysis.

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Meal Kit Provider Adds AmazonFresh Fulfillment Option

eMeals, which already offers integration with Walmart Grocery, Kroger ClickList and Instacart, has added AmazonFresh as a fulfillment option. Subscribers can send the shopping lists that are generated for meals they have selected to any of these services and then schedule home delivery or curbside pickup, depending on local availability.

The new option extends the eMeals strategy of leveraging the existing grocery supply chain to fill meal kit orders rather than creating a new infrastructure to pre-portion, package and deliver recipe ingredients. The strategy is designed to provide more variety, flexibility and affordability to subscribers while creating a more sustainable business model with lower operational costs.

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1-Grocery-ProduceHealth and beauty retailers and e-Grocers Instacart and FreshDirect can now reach high-intent shoppers, drive traffic to their site and correctly attribute the resulting sales via a closed-loop system, through a partnership with the CPG marketing network HookLogic. 

The retailers are looking to tap into what Business Insider Intelligence forecasts will be an $18 billion market in U.S. online grocery sales by 2018, as consumers become more accustomed to buying groceries and consumable goods online.

“We’re excited to partner with HookLogic to provide our brand partners with an innovative opportunity to amplify their brand presence within the FreshDirect shopping experience,” said Michelle Harmon-Madsen, SVP Brand Partnerships for FreshDirect. “Additionally, the cross-category promotion allows customers to discover new products as well as great favorites across every shopping page.”

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Target Partners With Instacart To Enter Grocery Delivery Market

Less than a week after news broke of Google testing a new grocery delivery service in two U.S. cities, Target has joined the fray.

As part of a new partnership with on-demand grocery service Instacart, Target is piloting a grocery delivery program in Minneapolis that will allow consumers in the area to use or the Instacart app to purchase items from Target. After a purchase is made, consumers can opt to have their items delivered to their homes.

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Petco Introduces “PetcoNow”

Petco announced the launch of PetcoNow, an on-demand delivery service in pet specialty retail.

PetcoNow is powered by Instacart, a service which allows shoppers to order groceries online and have “personal shoppers” deliver them to their home. With Instacart, PetcoNow gives pet owners access to Petco products that can be delivered in as little as one hour. The service provides customers with a selection of approximately 13,000 Petco products, including food, treats, toys and supplies for pets.

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Whole Foods Market Launches One-Hour Delivery In 15 U.S. Cities

Instacart infographic hires

Instacart infographic hiresWhole Foods Market has formed a new partnership with Instacart to provide one-hour delivery to customers in select cities. Soon, shoppers also will have the ability to place orders through Instacart and then pick up their orders at participating stores.

Customers can order from Whole Foods Market by visiting or using the Instacart mobile app.  After selecting their ZIP code, customers add items to their virtual carts, select a delivery window and complete their transactions.

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