Instacart is in the process of raising more than $100 million in an investment round that will value the grocery delivery company at $2 billion, according to a report by TechCrunch. The news comes almost six months after the company announced it raised $44 million in a Series B funding round.
A round of this size could fuel major expansion for the company, which is helmed by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon supply chain engineer who founded the grocery delivery firm in 2012. Instacart uses a fleet of “personal shoppers” armed with smartphone apps in cities around the U.S. to complete grocery orders that customers place through the company’s website and mobile apps. People can order from stores like Safeway, Whole Foods and QFC.
To date, Instacart has raised $54.8 million from a list of investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Box CEO Aaron Levie. The company is currently operating in 15 markets, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
One of the advantages of Instacart’s business model is that the company doesn’t have to stock a large fulfillment warehouse in order to light up a new market. They can roll into a new city, train a set of personal shoppers, and get things moving fast.
That makes it easier for Mehta to compete with his former employer in the grocery delivery game. Instacart has the potential to expand across the country much faster than Amazon Fresh, and is currently available in many more markets. Amazon isn’t taking the new entry lying down, however: the company is in the process of building out its delivery presence in New York, and reportedly plans to expand service to Philadelphia soon.
A representative for Instacart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this report.