According to data provider Pitchbook, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the most valuable “unicorn” in the U.S. with a valuation of $74 billion.
The newly-crowned runner-up is much more grounded. Instacart — the San Francisco-based grocery delivery service — announced yesterday it raised $265 million at a $39 billion valuation.
Delivering The Deals
Insta Success: Instacart is the U.S. market leader among grocery apps. With 2020 ushering in the golden age of delivery services, the company’s gig workforce has swelled to over 500,000. Yesterday’s announcement was the second time since the start of the pandemic it has doubled its valuation.
And it’s hardly the only grocery player scooping up funding in recent days.
Czech Yourself: Prague-based Rohlik announced yesterday a $230 million funding round. Rohlik will use the fresh capital to canvas the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria with its delivery service. We’ll call it the Austrian-Hungry empire.
Crisp Bills: German grocery courier Flink also raised $52 million in seed financing and Amsterdam-based Crisp added $36 million. Crisp sources seasonal products from over 600 high-quality producers, which it delivers to Dutch customers via an all-electric fleet.
While getting your sliced bread delivered may seem like the best thing since sliced bread, staying competitive in grocery delivery is no picnic:
- Restaurant delivery barons Uber and DoorDash have begun expanding their offerings to include groceries. And proprietary services from Walmart and Amazon are also nibbling away market share.
- GlobalData analyst Neil Saunders warns grocery delivery services could suffer if previously tech-illiterate supermarkets employ their own ecommerce strategies. “If retailers decide to go it alone, it leaves Instacart out in the cold.”
The new funding offers Instacart some breathing room against its deep-pocketed delivery rivals as the company diversifies into alcohol and other non-food retail delivery.