The Meta apoorva Photo by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Founder of grocery delivery service Instacart, and in the past — the first courier company became a billionaire at age 33. The demand for Instacart increased significantly after the start of the pandemic, when people are trapped at home
Grocery delivery service Instacart on June 11 announced the closing of a new round of funding, in which companies from San Francisco managed to raise $225 million the valuation of the company grew from $7.9 billion to $13.7 billion, and the founder and CEO of Instacart, a 33-year-old Apurva Meth, became a billionaire. According to Forbes, mete in the company presumably owns approximately 10%, so his condition is estimated at $1.2 billion (Forbes applies a discount of 10%, valuing shares in private companies). Instacart representatives did not comment on the calculations by Forbes.
Using Instacart users can select and order the products online. After confirmation of the order, the courier will pack the products and then deliver them to customers home. Currently, the service can use more than 85% of the US population and 70% of the population of Canada. After the start of the pandemic COVID-19, when millions of people had to start to follow a policy of self-isolation, demand for service Instacart has grown rapidly. According to the company, over the last 12 months the volume of orders has increased by 500%, and the average users began to spend 35% more per order.
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Since March 2020, Instacart had to hire 300,000 new couriers. In April, the company announced plans to hire another 250 000 people, so that user become available again shipping products within the hour or the day of the order. “We have ambitious plans for the future. Thanks to this new funding we will be able to better support our participants and partners, will continue to develop strategic initiatives, such as our advertising business and our business activities, and to serve our customers at the highest level”, — said Apurva Meta in a press release on the new round of financing. “Pandemic COVID-19 radically changed people’s attitude to products and electronic Commerce. We are proud to be the grocery delivery service Instacart plays an important role in people’s lives now and will continue to do so even after the crisis subsides,” added the company founder.
Apurva Meta was born in India and raised in Canada. He studied engineering at the University of Waterloo and worked as an engineer in companies Blackberry and Qualcomm. Later Meta got an engineer on supply in the Amazon and helped the giant e-Commerce to build a system to process orders and to improve the supply chain. A few years later he wanted to try his hand at something new. In 2010 he retired and moved from Seattle to San Francisco to try his luck in business.
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Over the next 12 months Apurva Meta came up with about 20 business ideas. For example, he wanted to create a service with discount coupons on food and a social network for lawyers. However, none of his ideas didn’t work. “The purpose of the company may not be just the creation of the company. The purpose of the company shall be the solution to a problem that really bothers you,” said Meta on one of the activities of the business incubator Y Combinator in 2014.
At that time, entrepreneurs were concerned about the issue of grocery store shopping. Despite the fact that by 2012 most of the products can be purchased online, grocery shopping online it was difficult to even imagine. Meta started to develop a mobile app that ultimately became the basis for the grocery delivery service Instacart. “I promised myself I will not go to the grocery store for as long as my mobile app is ready,” said Meta.
After launching the application, the Meta became the first user and an Instacart courier: he ordered the products in the application, then he went to the store, they have collected the order and brought him home. In 2012, the entrepreneur has managed to attract funding from business incubator Y Combinator after he used Instacart to deliver one of the investors a few cans of beer. In 2013, he became a member of Forbes “30 under 30”. In the early stages, users often ordered food delivery via mobile app, but couldn’t get my order because of lack of available couriers. Then the Meta he worked as a courier, and since it had no machine — travelled around the city with Uber.
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Since the geography of the Instacart has expanded considerably. If earlier the company’s services were only available in San Francisco, now they can be used by residents of more than 5500 cities in North America. Instacart has partnered with more than 30,000 grocery stores, including Albertsons, Publix, Kroger and Sam’s Club. In the past year, Instacart has created a network of points of delivery of ready orders. Now users can pick up their order at one of the partner stores. In April 2020, Instacart has launched a subscription service for delivery of drugs. Currently, the company cooperates with about 200 pharmacies Costco, but plans to increase the number of selectable pharmacies Costco to 500.
Since launching in 2012, the service Instacart has attracted funding of $2.2 billion Investors Instacart made by dozens of famous venture capital funds, in particular, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins.
Translation Of Pauline Sanaevoj