The competition for top spot in the online grocery and food delivery space is heating up upon news of a major round of venture funding. Online grocery delivery startup Instacart recently announced the close of a massive $400 million Series D round led by previous investor Sequoia Capital, with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Whole Foods Market and Andreessen Horowitz, among others. To date, Instacart has raised over $674 million in seven rounds.
Founded back in 2012 by an Amazon alum, the San Francisco–based grocery delivery startup currently operates in 25 states nationwide. The latest round reportedly puts Instacart’s valuation at $3.4 billion, said The Wall Street Journal, a significant increase over the grocery delivery startup’s previous $2 billion valuation estimate after its Series C at the tail end of 2014.
Instacart nearly doubled the markets it serves in the past year, expanding from 18 to 35, the company wrote in a blog post. The grocery delivery startup now reportedly plans to double its footprint again over the course of the next year.
The grocery startup’s retail grocery partners now reportedly top 135, with including new partners like Publix, Schnucks and Ahold Delhaize. Additionally, Instacart has partnership deals with over 160 consumer packaged goods providers, including big names like Nestle, P&G, Unilever, General Mills, Coca-Cola and Pepsico.
The grocery delivery space is most notable for being an incredibly crowded one, with Instacart existing as one of many options, including FreshDirect, Peapod, Amazon Fresh and Shipt, among many others — and that’s not to mention the players in the meal-kit category.
The online grocery delivery boom has happened in conjunction with the consumer trend of spending less at physical grocery stores. While this is due in large part to the shopping behaviors of millennials, even baby boomers aren’t making trips to the local supermarket like they used to.