During the COVID-19 lockdown, Instacart became an essential service for millions of Americans trapped at home. Even as early as February, Instacart started noticing unusual demand for items such as toilet paper, canned vegetables and long-life milk.
The next few months accelerated the growth of Instacart, which in 2019 was losing $25 million every month. It recorded its first monthly profit in April 2020, netting $10 million, and CEO Apoorva Mehta said the company had passed its 2022 goals.
While Instacart doesn’t publish usage statistics, it added 300,000 more ‘shoppers’, riders responsible for picking up and delivery groceries, in the first half of 2020. At the end of 2019, it employed less than 100,000. It hired 350,000 more in 2020, with $35 billion in grocery sales.
Instacart was one of 20 businesses started by Mehta in the early 2010s, in a wave of entrepreneurial spirit in which he created a social network for lawyers and an ad network for gaming companies. Using his experience as a supply chain engineer for Amazon, Mehta built the system which took aim at his old boss.
It wasn’t long before Amazon shot back. In August 2017, it acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. At the time, Whole Foods was responsible for 10 percent of Instacart sales, and some investors worried that Amazon would end the partnership.
Instead of shutting down the upstart, the Whole Foods acquisition scared the rest of the retail world, which quickly penned agreements with Instacart. What was considered an extension of the Whole Foods brand became a marketplace for all types of retailers, which were more accommodating to Instacart out of fear of the Amazon machine.
The rise of a food delivery app would not be complete without several controversies. Like DoorDash, Instacart has been accused (and taken to court) for withholding tips and paying workers less than minimum wage. In 2019, Instacart workers set up a union and during the COVID pandemic, many walked out in protest of the lack of protective equipment.
Instacart has since provided PPE and made it much easier for customers to tip.
Will Instacart remain an essential service after lockdown? The company has no doubt received one of the greatest boosts to its chances of survival, with an IPO planned for 2021.
We have collected data and statistics on Instacart. Read on below to find out more.
Instacart key statistics
- Instacart reportedly generated $1.8 billion revenue in 2021
- During the coronavirus pandemic, Instacart had its first profitable month, netting $10 million
- Instacart had an estimated 9.6 million active users in 2020
- Instacart valuation dropped from $39 billion t0 $24 billion in the space of a year
|Launch date||1 July 2012|
|HQ||San Francisco, California|
|People||Apoorva Mehta (CEO, co-fonder), Sagar Sanghvi (CFO)|
Instacart made $1.8 billion revenue in 2021, a 20% increase. In 2020, its revenues increased by 104% to $1.5 billion.
Instacart annual revenue 2013 to 2021 ($mm)
Instacart does not publish profitability, but in 2020 it managed a slight profit, off the back of high volumes of sales during the pandemic.
Instacart annual profit/loss 2019 to 202o ($mm)
Instacart had 9.6 million active users in 2020, which bought items off the app more than once a month.
Instacart annual users 2017 to 2020 (mm)
Over 600,000 people work for Instacart as ‘shoppers’, who pick up items from stores and deliver them to customers.
Instacart shoppers 2014 to 2021
Instacart is partnered with 750 retail and grocery companies, which allow shoppers to bag and deliver their items.
Instacart partnered retail and grocery companies 2017 to 2021
Note: Partners refers to retail and grocery companies that operate on Instacart.
Sources: Forbes, Instacart
Instacart received an almost 40% degrade in valuation in 2022, dropping from $39 billion to $24 billion.
Instacart valuation 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Instacart is available in 5,500 cities in the United States and Canada.
Instacart cities available 2016 to 2020
Source: CB Insights
What is Instacart’s gross merchandise volume in 2020?
It was reportedly on track to process more than $35 billion in grocery sales this year (Bloomberg)
How much does the average Instacart Express customer spend?
Instacart Express customers spend on average $5,000 per year and at double the frequency
Does Instacart benefit towns?
A study found Instacart generates $620 million in incremental state revenue (Supermarket News)
What is an Instacart users average spend?
Instacart annual user spend is $512 (Rakuten Intelligence)
How many products are available on Instacart?
Over 500 million products are listed on Instacart
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