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Is Instacart Publicly Traded?

Aria Thomas

Nov 24, 2022 14:50


Instacart is a rapidly expanding firm, in part because of the coronavirus outbreak. According to Instacart statistics, millions of individuals joined up for grocery delivery in response to stay-at-home orders and worries about in-person shopping. According to a Harris research done on behalf of Instacart, 48 percent of individuals reported ordering goods online during the epidemic. As a result of this expansion, there has been increased interest in how to purchase Instacart stock. It appears to be an excellent investment opportunity. But can Instacart stock be purchased? Is Instacart traded publicly? Here is the pertinent information.

What exactly is Instacart?

Instacart is a grocery delivery and pickup service located in the United States that allows clients to order from partner stores via its website and mobile app and get their groceries via personal shoppers.

The firm was founded via an app in 2012 by serial entrepreneur and former Amazon employee Apoorva Mehta. It was first sponsored by a Y Combinator accelerator, through which $120,000 was raised. Utilizing Mehta's network of Silicon Valley contacts, the firm flourished by marketing itself as a faster option for same-day grocery delivery than its competitors.


Following funding rounds of $2.3 million and $8.5 million, Instacart was able to establish a presence in about 20 locations within two years of its founding and clinch contracts with industry titans such as Whole Foods and PepsiCo.

The company's 2021 revenues were around $1.8 billion, representing a year-over-year rise of $0.3 billion.

What is the business strategy of Instacart?

Instacart's first approach was to streamline the online grocery ordering process so that consumers could take advantage of doorstep delivery, as well as assist smaller retailers in prospering online.

In 2016, a deal with Whole Foods allowed Instacart to deliver the grocer's products exclusively. Due to Amazon's eventual acquisition of Whole Foods, the link between Instacart and Whole Foods did not endure long. However, when supermarkets were afraid that Amazon might undercut their pricing, a number of them chose to form partnerships with Instacart. Instead of severing relations with Whole Foods having a negative impact, the online retailer quickly expanded from 200 to 350 store partners.

During the coronavirus epidemic, the magnitude of the operational challenge became clear. The company's order volume increased by 500% as consumers sought to avoid shopping in public locations.

Instacart has endeavored to grow into new geographic regions and has introduced new items to entice consumers into the realm of e-commerce as a result of the business boom that occurred throughout the aforementioned time period. The care staff has expanded, the number of consumer packaged goods partners has grown, and the variety of items has expanded to include alcohol and prescription delivery, beauty products, and general retail.

How successful is Instacart?

During the epidemic, Instacart was essential in helping smaller grocers compete with Walmart and Amazon online, and it currently has partnerships with over 750 businesses and over 70,000 stores. However, many of its partners initially ran at a loss, and several have since developed their own systems, including Kroger.

And it is unknown if Instacart is profitable or unprofitable. As a privately held corporation, comprehensive results are neither needed nor anticipated. However, an insider leak has informed investors that the company's first profitable month was April 2020. However, it is feasible and maybe encouraging that any gains are still being invested in the company's growth.


At 8.3%, inflation might be problematic for the stock. Instacart continues to focus primarily on the grocery industry, where margins of 2% to 3% are typical, and competition is fierce. When fees are increased, this imposes a disproportionately high cost on either the grocer or the customer.

Is Instacart publicly traded?

Currently, Instacart is a private firm. Until the Instacart IPO, you will not be able to directly own a portion of the company unless you are a venture investor.

Who is the Owner of Instacart?

Instacart is owned largely by its creator, Apoorva Mehta, and a small number of venture capital firms. Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and T. Rowe Price Group are notable investors.

What is the stock symbol for Instacart?

Instacart currently lacks a ticker symbol. ICART and INST are two possibilities that are claimed to exist. However, you will learn what it is when the firm completes the necessary paperwork for an IPO.

What will the Instacart stock price be?

The IPO stock price of Instacart will rely on a number of factors, including the company's value and the number of shares offered. As soon as Instacart becomes public, market forces will affect the stock price.

Will Instacart eventually go public?

Instacart will probably delay its IPO until the market regains its confidence, and this might be later than 2023-2024.

The market must stabilize before investors are willing to take substantial positions in IPOs. In 2022, it looks that the institutions that assume substantial risk to make IPOs feasible are unwilling to engage in this trade.

What do you need to know about Instacart's IPO?

Undoubtedly, Instacart is thriving, and its future success is also anticipated to be positive. If you intend to invest in the firm, you should wait until Instacart becomes public. However, there are a few things you should know before proceeding.

1. IPO Timing

When will Instacart go public? Is the question most frequently asked? There is currently no Instacart IPO date, as the firm has not yet submitted the necessary documentation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the governing body for public companies.

However, Instacart has worked for almost a year to go public. Some sources indicate that Instacart will go public via a direct listing, notwithstanding the likelihood of an IPO.

2. IPO Valuation

The IPO value is one of the most significant aspects of Instacart to be aware of. By considering Instacart's market investment, you can assess whether or not the firm is worth investing in.

Fortunately, the online grocery delivery firm is valued at a staggering $39 billion. It may be lesser than its competitor, DoorDash, at $71 billion, but it is, to say the least, pretty outstanding for a young startup.

According to some analysts, the company's valuation might reach $50 billion, making its IPO one of the largest of 2021.

In March 2022, however, the San Francisco-based corporation reduced its own worth by over 40% to $24 billion. The reduced value reflects the difficult market conditions.

3. IPO Backers

After a company's documents are authorized and approved by the SEC, it can price their After the SEC has reviewed and approved a company's paperwork, it may price its IPO in conjunction with its investors. These are pre-IPO investors with a voice in the release of the IPO.

If the price is too low, the business risks losing big cash. However, if the price is excessive, the demand for the stocks may decrease. Therefore, the stock price of Instacart must be set after a great lot of deliberation by all relevant parties.

Typically, companies use underwriters to determine a price for an initial public offering (IPO) that would assist the firm in obtaining considerable funds while assuring constant demand. Goldman Sachs is the underwriter for Instacart.

Together with Instacart's backers, the investment bank will decide the price for the initial public offering. Similarly, the Instacart IPO will be chosen with the participation of its investors.

These include mentioning Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and D1 Capital Partners.

4. Instacart Business Prospects

Before investing in a firm, you must ensure that its long-term business prospects are stable and lucrative. Certainly, you do not wish to lose the money you have invested.

Instacart offers pickup and delivery services for groceries and other merchandise for over 600 stores around the country. It provides items from 55,000 retailers, including Aldi, Safeway, and Costco, to over 5,500 U.S. locations. Instacart is also available in Canada, allowing it to serve a larger consumer base.

With this in mind, it is simple to conclude that Instacart has promising commercial potential in the United States and beyond. It is anticipated that the firm that gives free delivery to Plus members will continue to expand to benefit its investors.

5. Leadership

While Instacart's core beliefs have remained the same throughout time, the company's leadership has evolved. The firm welcomed Fidji Simo as its new CEO in August of this year. Simo is a well-known figure in the corporate world, having formerly led Facebook and served as its vice president.

In addition to helping Facebook go public, her participation in the Instacart IPO is positive news for potential investors. Her objective is to boost Intscart's customer base by implementing app enhancements and ad campaigns that target businesses.

Direct listings vs. IPOs

Recent rumors indicate that the business will instead opt for a direct listing, despite its previously stated intention to go public. In contrast to an IPO, a direct listing does not include the creation of new shares for sale; rather, it involves listing privately owned shares on the public market so that they may be sold and acquired at prices agreed upon by investors.

An initial public offering (IPO) entails significant talks between the firm and investment bankers to negotiate a stock price and a lockup period during which current private investors cannot sell their shares. Investment bankers, not the market value of the new equity produced for an IPO, and its value will likely decline when the lockup period expires, and insiders sell shares, therefore increasing the market's supply. In addition, the fresh influx of public cash will weaken the position of current investors.

Instacart may choose a direct listing strategy in part because it does not require further funding. Since the beginning of 2020, the firm has completed three significant equity offerings, resulting in a value rise of fivefold to its present $39 billion. Moreover, Instacart's management is concerned about leaving money on the table by underpricing the IPO.

Why are investors interested in Instacart shares?

Perhaps one of the most important factors influencing the price of Instacarts' stock is the belief that the online grocery sector is very competitive and that demand will continue to rise. In fact, the worldwide market for online grocery shopping was valued at about $190 billion in 2019, with a predicted annual growth rate of nearly 25% from 2020 to 2027.

Many potential investors may assume that Instacart's online grocery business has merely touched the surface of its potential. It is plausible that the firm may raise revenue if online grocery expenditure continues to expand at or above the rate predicted by industry analysts.

Instacart's development into other additional categories, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, office supplies, electronics, health, beauty, and wellbeing, home décor, and sports equipment, has contributed significantly to its growth.

Additionally, the business claims to be developing Instacart Enterprise, a complete e-commerce solution for merchants. The objective is to fuel e-commerce sites, digital loyalty programs, and online catalogs for merchants, which might boost Instacart's advertising revenue.


Overall, the prognosis for Instacart appears positive, but past performance is not always indicative of future results. A comparatively valued firm in the same industry, DoorDash, had an IPO price of $102 and gained 86% on its first day of trading in December 2020. However, DoorDash is not yet profitable, despite the epidemic prompting the demand for restaurant delivery services to soar.

Temporary profitability resulting from the pandemic's effect on customer behavior is a concern shared by all of the firms. It is uncertain whether these income and client acquisition levels can be maintained once the shelter-in-place orders are lifted and the economy recovers. You must be the judge as a wise investor and invest accordingly.

Pros and cons of buying Instacart stock

Pros of investing in Instacart stock

Even though it has experienced significant growth, Instacart still has a great deal of untapped potential. The epidemic prompted many individuals to begin shopping from home, which might become a habit for many.

Even when the pandemic worries subside, some users may continue to use the app because of its convenience. Suppose you are able to purchase Instacart as an IPO stock. In that case, you may be able to purchase shares at a lower price and subsequently realize gains if the company has continuous usage and revenue development.

To summarize the benefits of purchasing Instacart stock:

  • Possibility of getting very affordable IPO shares

  • Profit from the transition of many consumers to grocery delivery.

  • Plans for further features and the company's investment in artificial intelligence may give it an advantage.

Cons of buying Instacart stock

As with any asset, there is a danger you might lose money if you purchase Instacart shares. In addition, despite rumors of a high valuation when Instacart releases its IPO, these expectations may be crushed. In March 2022, Instacart reduced its valuation from $39 billion in its previous investment round to $24 billion.

In certain situations, an IPO declines after its initial day, and therefore the value of your stock may decline. Lastly, if the market changes or if there is some other form of disruption, Instacart's promise may not be realized.

To summarize the drawbacks of purchasing Instacart shares:

Market disruptions may diminish the future viability of Instacart, and the post-IPO stock price may decline.

There is always the possibility of a loss, and potential labor concerns and other obstacles may prevent it from becoming profitable.

Can I invest in Instacart stock? Three possible methods

There are three possible methods for acquiring shares:

1. Invest in Instacart shares in secondary markets prior to the IPO

Founders, early workers, and investors frequently face challenging circumstances. They possess valuable shares in a firm that is not publicly traded.

Due to their stock ownership, some stockholders may have multimillion-dollar net worths, yet the stock is illiquid because it is not traded on an exchange.

A few platforms have emerged to facilitate the liquidation of these individuals' shares prior to the IPO.

Through sponsoring employee stock options, Equitybee provides accredited investors access to pre-IPO firms. In return, investors receive a percentage of the stock's future worth.

Linqto, EquityZen, and Forge Global are three more notable investment platforms.

These websites provide liquidity to illiquid assets. When shares of these firms become available, accredited investors may join these sites and seek to purchase them.

2. Invest in Instacart stock at its first public offering (IPO)

As the Instacart IPO approaches, aspirational investors may seek to position themselves to invest in the company. The majority of ordinary investors will lack access.

The biggest investment banks' richest customers will receive IPO shares in the hottest projects.

Your odds of obtaining IPO shares depend on four variables:

  • IPO demand

  • Your broker and eligibility

  • Your managed assets with the broker.

  • Inclination to trade shares

As demand for IPOs grows, the likelihood of getting IPO shares decreases. Therefore, the most appealing IPOs to the general public are the most difficult to obtain.

Lower-demand Retail investors who are customers of participating brokers may have access to IPOs.

3. Buy Instacart stock after the Instacart IPO

Invest in Instacart Stock After the Instacart IPO, and it may not be worthwhile to exert substantial effort to buy IPO shares. You may expend time and effort to acquire shares but receive a modest allotment, restricting your potential upside gain.

Despite the fact that IPOs can provide one-day gains of over 20% and, in exceptional situations, up to 100% (such as Airbnb and Doordash), the most substantial profits will occur in the decade after the IPO if the firm is truly innovative.

Consider Netflix, Amazon, or Tesla as examples. You might have purchased the stock years after its first public offering and still realized returns of over 1,000%.

Final thoughts

Although it is impossible to invest in Instacart stock perfectly, it is possible to plan beforehand. Consider conducting research on the business and analyzing the market for grocery delivery services. You may also discover how to invest in Instacart stock before its initial public offering by visiting sites that sell shares of businesses before their IPO.

You may also study how to invest money and acquire a sense of how it works in the interim. Thus, you will be more positioned to select the appropriate portfolio when Instacart IPO stock shares become available.