Instacart

Groceries and home essentials delivered from local stores in 1 hour.

HEADQUARTER San Francisco, CA

COMPANY SIZE More than 500

# OF ENGINEERS Between 250 and 500

FUNDING $100M+

TAGS Mobile, E-Commerce, Local, Groceries, YC Summer 2012

EXTENDED EXERCISE WINDOW? No

What do we do?

Instacart is a same-day grocery delivery company delivering groceries and home essentials from a variety of local stores.

Technical challenges

From a technology perspective, Instacart is structured like four or five different companies within one umbrella. If you're interested in algorithmic challenges, we have lots of those on the shopper side - optimizing grocery picking and deliveries, etc. If you enjoy product challenges, we have lots of those on the buyer side - building a great experience for finding and suggesting items that customers are looking for.

We make it easy for engineers to move around different teams and get experience of different domains. This is unique as most technology companies don't have the same surface area of potential problems to be working on as us.

Why join us?

1) Few companies have built the combination of technical and logistical expertise that we have. The only other company to achieve this at scale is Amazon.

2) We're now making money on every delivery. In our business this is an achievement many people thought was not possible. We're also scaling this up and growing fast on all of our key metrics e.g. deliveries, user engagement, gross margin.

3) We have deals with top retailers like Whole Foods (also a strategic investor in us) and are adding more over time.

4) Our market is huge and difficult to enter. Our biggest competition is Amazon, their goal is to put all the current grocery stores out of business whereas Instacart wants to support them. In the future, there's only going to be two types of grocery store - Amazon and Instacart supported stores, with the latter having the bigger share of the market. Google tried to enter this space with Google Express but was shutdown for perishable groceries because they couldn't replicate the expertise Instacart has built up.

5) Our service adds huge value to our users and to a broad group of people. Many people use Instacart as a way to help elderly or sick people get their groceries delivered, we're helping parents across the country find time in their busy schedules to spend more time with their children and worry less about managing groceries.

Our press coverage

http://fortune.com/2016/03/24/instacart-profits/

Our tech stack

  • Amazon EC2
  • Heroku
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Objective C
  • Memcached
  • Numpy
  • React
  • Cassandra
  • Rabbitmq
  • Amazon S3
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis
  • Rails
  • Elasticsearch
  • R

Our investors

  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • Sequoia Capital
  • Khosla Ventures
  • Canaan Partners