2014 has been good to Instacart.
Called the “Uber of grocery delivery,” the two-year-old venture allows customers to order groceries online from nearby stores and have them delivered to their door, often in under an hour. The difference is that the actual shopping and delivery is carried out by locals who apply to work with Instacart. Instacart says shoppers can earn up to $25 per hour, and customers and shoppers can rate one another after a transaction.
The company has grown significantly over the last several months, expanding to new cities and aiming to end the year with $100 million in revenue, according to The New York Times.
But the journey wasn't easy. This summer, after Instacart raised $44 million in a Series B funding round, cofounder and CEO Apoorva Mehta – a former Amazon employee -- told Entrepreneur about the long road to Instacart, the ideas that that failed to gain any traction and his eventual success with Y Combinator.
Of the company's appeal, Mehta said “with Instacart [shoppers] are people who are part of our community. That personal touch, in my opinion, is a huge edge.”
At the time, Mehta also said the company would be looking to venture beyond the grocery delivery space. “The goal for Instacart has always been the next Amazon.com. Groceries are a great start, but we want to expand to other verticals as well,” said Mehta.
Instacart currently delivers in 15 cities across the country -- Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C.