whatsthatstartup - March 24, 2020

Instacart is an app created by co-founders Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, and Brandon Leonardo. Apoorva Mehta is currently the CEO and founder of Instacart. Before creating Instacart, Mehra was a Supply Chain Engineer at Amazon. He later quit, and wanted to do something that was challenging and involved software. While living in San Francisco, he loved to cook, but did not own a car. This didn’t allow him to be able to access the groceries he needed to be able to cook the meals he wanted to make. This is how the idea of creating Instacart began. “When I started Instacart, I knew this product was going to work. This was not the feeling I had with any other product.” Instacart is a grocery delivering app that was founded in 2012. It is well-known by many users for being able to have groceries delivered to their home in as little as an hour. 

Instacart can be used two ways by the app users. The users can either choose to use the app to get groceries delivered to them or use the app to be the grocery shopper. Whichever way the user decides to use the app, they both have their benefits.

If a user is using the app to get groceries delivered to them, they are able to choose everything on the app. The app shows you a list of grocery stores in your location and shows you all the products offered at the store. Then, you are able to choose which groceries you want to get delivered to your home and what time you want them by. You can also add a note and leave preferences. For example, if you are ordering avocados, you can add a note on how ripe you want them. The shopper will then buy the groceries based off your preferences. If you have selected an item that is out of stock at the store, the shopper will notify you and show you the close alternatives to the product. You can then choose whether you want the alternative or not. The shopper will not buy anything that is not on your grocery list before asking for your approval. 

As a shopper, the user can earn extra income in their spare time. Instacart is very flexible with the shopper. The shopper is able to create their own flexible schedule. They can choose the hours they want to work, have time off, or even work extra. In addition, the shopper gets paid weekly, and when they work peak days this can maximize their earnings. 

When wanting to earn money through Instacart, shoppers can choose to either be a full-service shopper or a in-store shopper. Being a full-service shopper entails that they do the shopping for the user as well as the delivery. The shopper receives the grocery orders from nearby Instacart users through the app on their smartphone, they then pick out the items and it’s ready to be delivered. For this, the shopper needs access to a car in order to make these deliveries. As a full-service shopper, you are considered an independent contractor and you are able to choose the hours that best accommodates your life. The basic requirements to be a full-service shopper includes being the age of 18 or over, you have to be eligible to work in the United States, you need to have constant access to a vehicle, and also have constant access to a smartphone. The smartphone needs to be either an iPhone 5 or newer, or an Android 4.4 or newer. 

There is also the option to be an in-store shopper. The in-store shopper shops for the orders wanted within a store. This type of shopper is considered a part-time employee. No vehicle is required as the in-store shopper only shops for the groceries order and does not do any deliveries. The in-store shoppers receive the orders on the app, collect the grocery items throughout the store, bag groceries, and then move on to the next order. There is flexible scheduling as well, you can set your own schedule and get paid weekly. The basic requirements to be an in-store shopper are the same as being a full-service shopper with the exception of requiring access to a vehicle.

Instacart is a technology driven business model. Instacart functions through the use of the app on the user’s smartphones. This allows users to become connected with one another with the app. It allows for users to select which groceries they want to include in their order and select which grocery store they want their groceries from. The use of the app is also useful for the shoppers as it allows them to view the orders placed and adhere to that order. “There is a fever pitch of excitement in our industry and we are truly grateful to be able to lead the charge in transforming the grocery e-commerce landscape.” It ultimately uses the same type of business model as Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub. Which are all types of food delivery services. 

Instacart’s popularity continues to grow. Instacart is available in regions all over the country. You are also able to input your zipcode on Instacart’s website or the app to see if you are able to use Instacart at your location. It is estimated that Instacart’s revenue is approximately $3.4 billion to this day. Instacart had investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Whole Foods. However, the partnership between Instacart and Whole Foods ended. Instacart has partnered up with Albertsons and a variety of other stores. It is sure to continue to grow as they continue to create partnerships with different grocery stores. The CEO and founder of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta has not stated even in interviews whether the company was profitable or not. However, the popularity of getting your groceries delivered to your house have grown. “The shopper community is extremely important to us, we’re proud of the progress we have made but we know we have work to do.”

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