Will Instacart IPO Open the Door for Other eCommerce Platforms to Mull the Market?

Where Instacart goes, the question follows: will other eCommerce platforms follow?

At this writing, the online grocer is mulling a traditional initial public offering, and the details are slated to become more concrete as soon as next week.

If the plans do come to fruition, it would be a shift from past months and years, when the listing had been delayed in the face of challenging overall market conditions.

We note that returning to Wall Street to raise funds — not just for Instacart, but for any company — might mark a relatively attractive route compared to raising capital from banks and/or others, given stubbornly high-interest rates.

Should the requisite steps be taken with the SEC — including the filings that would detail the company’s financials — we’ll see whether there’s been a continuation of trends that were in place the last time there’d been some discussion in the mainstream media of top-line momentum (and other metrics).

As reported by The Wall Street Journal back in March, when Instacart had last been about to launch an IPO, and per a memo viewed by the paper, Instacart’s revenue increased more than 50% in the fourth quarter over the previous year’s fourth quarter. And for the full year, the company’s revenues surged a reported 39% to $2.5 billion, with $29 billion in sales processed across the platform.

Eyeing Some Competitive Advantages

Would-be institutional and retail investors eyeing the road ahead may look towards competitive advantage as one of the deciding factors over when — and whether — to invest.

More recently, and in an interview with PYMNTS last month, 

Rob Hill, general manager of order ahead at Instacart, said many grocers face hurdles in the great digital shift.

“When it comes to online grocery ordering, there are a few friction points that still exist,” Hill said. “One major challenge is that many grocery retailers still struggle to make the online shift on their own. … The thing is, if you don’t have a solid ordering system in place, it becomes tough to digitize the whole in-store fulfillment process. This has been a headache for grocers for a while.”

Beyond Instacart, there may be the potential for other digital disruptors to come back to the traditional IPO model — if not near term, then in the months and years ahead, especially in segments where investors have already been actively funding innovators. PYMNTS research done in collaboration with AWS revealed that roughly a third of shoppers said they are very or extremely likely to increase their online grocery purchases in the next year.  

In other categories, more than a third of shoppers have said they will buy more health and beauty products online. Against that backdrop, in just one recent announcement, GlossGenius has secured $28 million in Series C funding to continue building its platform for small business owners in the beauty and wellness industry. This is the second up-round for GlossGenius in the last 12 months and it brings the company’s total funding to date to about $70 million, GlossGenius said late last month. The company helps local entrepreneurs manage payments, booking, inventory, expenses, marketing, and other back-office and front-office processes.