Food delivery startup Instacart raises $220M, now valued at $2B


The market for grocery services that deliver food to your door — a market that for many investors is still synonymous with the worst excesses of the tech bubble of the late 1990s — seems to be heating up: Instacart, which raised a $44-million financing round just a few months ago, has apparently closed a second round worth more than $200 million that values the two-year-old company at close to $2 billion.

Re/code disclosed the news of the new financing on Tuesday, based on a filing that the company made with the U.S. securities regulator, and said that sources believe the financing round — which is being led by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers — could be as high as $220 million. The previous round was led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Instacart is one of a number of companies that are pursuing the home-delivery market, including Amazon’s Fresh, Google Express, Postmates and FreshDirect. One of the differences between Instacart and many of its competitors is that it doesn’t carry any inventory itself, but negotiates deals with a variety of retailers.

The company’s CEO, Apoorva Mehta, told the New York Times that Instacart is expecting to have revenues of about $100 million in 2014, which would be about 10 times what it made the previous year.

For many of those who remember the investment bubble of the late 1990s, grocery delivery brings to mind names like Webvan and Kozmo, both of which were highly touted as the solution to home delivery, only to flame out quickly as the market crashed. The assets of Webvan, which went bankrupt in 2001, were eventually acquired by Amazon and are now part of Amazon Fresh.



I know when I was confined to bed rest due to pre-term labor with my last daughter and having no family or particularly any close friends near by, the idea of food delivery has social implications beyond profit generation!


Another bubble waiting to burst.Anytime a company is desperately raising cash and that too this frequently shows how weak the business model is. This will burst as soon as the Vc model dries up.


Everything old is new again. Webvan was pretty amazing but the margins in the grocery business are razor thin. But they’re merely a middleman and I’m amazed at their valuation. But hey, no one learned from the first big bubble burst.

Kozmo was pretty awesome because half of the delivery guys slung weed on the side or would walk the dogs of elderly people in my building. I kind of miss that.

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