Instacart announced this week that it has received Series A funding to the tune of $8.5 million. The funds were secured through a partnership with Menlo Park-based investment firm Sequoia Capital, with added assistance from Canaan Partners, Khosla Ventures and SVAngel.
Currently available in select cities around the San Francisco Bay Area, Instacart hopes to extend its service to other major US cities over the course of next year, including Boston, Chicago and New York City.
Launched in 2012 as an alternative to AmazonFresh, Instacart functions as a crowdsourcing service that offers the finest in local groceries from a team of expert shoppers. With its up-to-the-minute tracking of nearby items, deals and discounts, the team provides fresh produce and goods with optional one and two-hour deliveries.
Instacart has become a quick hit amongst cross sections of Bay Area locals – from busy professionals to residents of remote areas, many of whom live without adequate transportation. Company CEO Apoorva Mehta is confident that his service has a built-in niche in other big cities.
“Now that we have our San Francisco operation up and running and we have a great formula for success, it’s time to turn our attention to national expansion.”
The company recently initiated Instacart Plus, a feature that makes national-brand products available at super-low prices.