Roughly one full year after its 8.5 million series A round in 2013, on-demand grocery delivery startup Instacart has just concluded a massive $44 million series B funding round led by Andreesen Horowitz. This fresh infusion of cash will reportedly help the burgeoning company make its services available in every city in the United States.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Instacart works pretty much exactly how you’d expect a card-carrying grocery delivery startup to work. You start by simply visiting the Instacart site from a computer or mobile device, and then add items to your cart just like you would on any other ecommerce site. After you’ve selected all the stuff you want, you then choose a delivery time, specify the location at which the groceries should be delivered, and check out with a credit card. After you’ve placed an order, Instacart instantly beams that information to the smartphone of one of its personal shoppers, who then goes to a local store, buys the groceries, and delivers the order at the arranged time.
Services like this definitely aren’t new, but Instacart is growing much faster than its competitors. Over the past nine months, the company’s revenue has grown more than 15 times over. Much of that growth comes as a direct result of the company’s agile, crowdsourced marketplace model, which has ultimately allowed it to expand operations quickly and cheaply in a handful of new cities. As of April, you can now order groceries from Instacart in ten major cities across the country, including San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
According to co-founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, nearly every city that it’s launched in has grown more quickly than the last, so the company plans to use this new funding to continue pushing forward, and ramp up expansion efforts in the next few months. Instacart expects to have operations in a total of 17 U.S. cities by year end, and it hopes to be in all major U.S. cities by the end of 2015.
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