Instacart raises $220 million, adds to year of mega tech deals

Instacart, the scrappy grocery delivery service challenging AmazonFresh, revealed on Tuesday that it has raised up to $220 million, a boost for the quick-growing startup that has so far proven the throngs of grocery delivery naysayers very wrong.

The big investment, led by Kleiner Perkins, values San Francisco-based Instacart at an estimated $2 billion — the same market cap as San Jose data storage firm Nutanix, which is expected to go public next year, and just trailing San Francisco-based Box’s $2.4 billion valuation.

About six months ago, Instacart raised $44 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Sam Altman, among others, at a reported $400 million valuation. The latest funding round reveals just how quickly the startup has grown: It has added new grocery retailers to its app, and has a new partnership with Whole Foods in which Instacart workers are stationed inside the grocery store to shop for and bag food, preparing deliveries for the Instacart driver and expediting the entire process.

Instacart told the New York Times recently that it is poised to generate more than $100 million in revenue in 2014, 10 times what it did in 2013. Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta told this newspaper in a 2013 interview that the company was making “tens of millions of dollars in revenue” a year after its 2012 launch.

It is also looking to expand into other categories beyond groceries.

While $220 million is more money than most of us will ever see in a lifetime, it pales next to other mega funding rounds this year, which has seen more deals over $100 million than any other.

Here’s a list of the top 10 U.S. tech deals of 2014, provided by research firm CB Insights, which tracks venture capital investments. All but two companies are headquartered in the Bay Area.

1. Uber: $1.2 billion

2. Uber: $1.2 billion (yes, the car service app raised back-to-back mega rounds)

3. Cloudera: $900 million

4. Magic Leap: $542 million

5. Airbnb: $475 million

6. Palantir Technologies: $444 million

7. Privia Health: $400 million

8. Dropbox: $350 million

9. TangoMe: $280 million

10. SurveyMonkey: $250 million

Photo: Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta in their new offices South of Market in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group.

 

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