Instacart Acquires Canadian Grocery App Startup


Instacart is getting into the business of letting grocers create their own mobile apps with its acquisition of Unata, a Canadian company that offers a platform for grocers and their customers to interact digitally, TechCrunch reported.

Unata, which provides digital storefronts for more than 1,300 grocery locations, will still keep its own name, brand and Toronto headquarters following the deal. It will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Instacart. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Crunchbase said that Unata has raised a total of $2.7 million.

Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said the deal “represents a landmark win for retailers, who will benefit from Instacart’s scale, Unata’s highly configurable technology and the deep grocery industry integrations this acquisition will enable.”

The Unata deal comes a month after Target announced that it had completed a $550 million cash acquisition of Shipt, an online same-day delivery platform that is growing in popularity. At the time, the retailer said it will leverage its stores and Shipt’s proprietary technology platform and community of shoppers to bring same-day delivery to Target customers around the country.

In announcing the deal, Target said the purchase “significantly accelerates” its digital fulfillment efforts and will help the retailer bring same-day delivery to approximately half of its stores by the early part of 2018.

On Monday, Kroger said it is considering buying the online wholesaler startup Boxed. CNBC, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that a Kroger deal could value Boxed at between $325 million and $500 million. The idea of a sale came as the New York startup was looking for funding.

Boxed sells bulk items, including staples such as toilet paper and pet food, and delivers to consumers’ front doors. The startup expects to get competing offers in the coming weeks, noted the report. Morgan Stanley is acting as the advisor to Boxed.