Instacart's Valuation Doubles, Again
With the pandemic fueling a surge in demand for food delivery, the sector has been hot as of late.
With a number of companies competing with each other in the sector, Instacart announced yesterday it has raised $265 million in a new financing round at a valuation of $39 billion. Instacart's new valuation makes it the second-most valuable startup in the U.S. after SpaceX, which has a valuation of $74 billion, according to Pitchbook.
Yesterday's announcement marks the second time Instacart has seen its valuation double since the beginning of the pandemic. Instacart previously raised $200 million at a $17.7 billion valuation less than five months ago. Existing investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and T. Rowe Price Associates were among the investors in the latest round.
"Today's fundraising reflects the strength of Instacart's business, the growth our teams have delivered, as well as the incredible opportunity ahead," Instacart said. "This past year ushered in a new normal for millions of people and changed the way we shop for groceries and goods."
Instacart says it now partners with nearly 600 national, regional and local retailers to offer food delivery and pickup services to over 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households.
The new funds will be used to increase corporate headcount by 50% in the first half of 2021 as well as to invest in various initiatives such as Instacart Marketplace, Instacart Advertising and Instacart Enterprise.
"This past year ushered in a new normal, changing the way people shop for groceries and goods," Instacart CFO Nick Giovanni said. "While grocery is the world's largest retail category with annual spend of $1.3 trillion in North America alone, it's still in the early stages of its digital transformation. As online grocery penetration increases over the coming years, we'll continue to invest in our people, products and partners to support all of the communities we serve."
As food delivery companies continue to see unprecedented demand, it may not be long before Instacart follows in the footsteps of DoorDash and goes public or sees itself get acquired like GrubHub.
Wix acquires SpeedETab to help restaurant owners. Wix has acquired SpeedETab, which provides an end-to-end online and mobile ordering solution for the restaurant industry. The move will help bolster its Wix Restaurants offering, which is aimed at helping restaurant owners create an online presence. "Since inception, SpeedETab has been focused on empowering restaurants to increase revenue, engage with their customers, and provide a superior guest experience," SpeedETab CEO Adam Garfield said. "As part of Wix Restaurants, we look forward to making it easier than ever for any restaurant to have all the digital tools they need to succeed in one place."
Volvo to go fully electric by 2030. Volvo is the latest auto manufacturer to commit to a fixed date to go fully electric as the company announced it will do so by 2030. Volvo said it will introduce several additional electric models in the coming years as it hopes to have 50% of global sales come from electric vehicles by 2025 before reaching 100% by 2030. "There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine," Volvo chief technology officer Henrik Green said. "We're firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030. It'll allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change."
Canopy Growth launches CBD drink in the U.S. Canopy Growth announced the launch of its CBD-infused sparkling water brand Quatreau in the U.S. The launch in the U.S. follows a successful rollout in Canada last year which has seen Quatreau since become the top-selling ready-to-drink CBD beverage. "We have proven our beverage strategy in Canada, where we are currently the market share leader in CBD-infused ready-to-drink beverages," Canopy Growth President and Chief Product Officer Rade Kovacevic said. "Beverages are fueling growth in the CBD category and we believe this product will resonate with U.S. consumers looking for a naturally flavored, zero sugar option."
Six Dr. Seuss books to see publishing discontinued. The business that preserves and protects the legacy of iconic author Dr. Seuss announced that six books will be discontinued because of racist and insensitive imagery. "These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press. "Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises' catalog represents and supports all communities and families." Dr. Seuss Enterprises added that they will "continue to review our entire portfolio" as other books such as "The Cat in the Hat" have also received criticism.
Roku strikes deal with Nielsen. Roku announced it has agreed to acquire Nielsen's Advanced Video Advertising Business to accelerate Roku's launch of an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers. The two companies also entered into a strategic partnership to integrate Nielsen ad and content measurement products into Roku's platform. "Combining Nielsen's AVA technology with Roku's innovative ad tech and scale will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to traditional TV," Roku VP of Product Management Louqman Parampath said.