US – Instacart has received US$200million funding led by Coatue Management to focus on building shopper support teams and software.

The funding which values the US grocery at US$4.2 billion was also sourced from Glade Brook Capital Partners and aims to drive innovation when it comes to service delivery.

It also targets to offer customers convenience and a wide range of products to choose from.

According to Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, the online grocery market in 2017 witnessed significant investments which led to the growth of grocery business in the US, as the service went from being a nice addition to “mission critical” for grocery retailers.

He noted that the new anticipations in the online grocery saw seven of top eight North American grocers jump on to the Instacart marketplace, attracting 200 grocery partners.

“Of course, this tipping point would never have happened had it not been for customers demanding grocery delivery.

In 2017, we noticed that more customers started to rely on Instacart to deliver their weekly groceries than ever before and our express subscriber base grew by 300%. Best of all, this was not only something that was a phenomenon in big cities — it was nationwide,” said Apoorva Mehta.

The grocery unit said that it was seeking new growth opportunities in smaller and sparser regions.

Last year, it launched in 160 new areas targeting the US and Canadian customers who are gradually shifting from buying groceries in stores to online grocery shop.

Instacart targets to work on innovation by offering customers more convenience and better selection at competitive prices in the near future.

“Recognising that our shoppers need better tools and processes to be able to offer great customer service, we will be investing in building robust shopper support teams and software.

And, of course, we will continue to grow sales for our retailers and CPG partners by strengthening our partnerships and innovating together,” added Mehta.

Instacart has developed a two-hour delivery system that takes groceries from local such as Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco and Petco to households.

To counter its rival Amazon, Instacart has launched various expansions into Quad Cities- Flagstaff, Sedona and Burlington to serve customers with groceries through an online delivery system or a mobile app.

The US online grocery was led by Amazon with an estimated US2 billion in sales, which was keen on establishing a strong market share- according to One Click Retail.

With Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, Instacart has a long way to go to march Amazon’s robust sales.