Instacart said it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with the SEC in an initial step toward an IPO.
The San Francisco-based delivery specialist announced the move the evening of May 11, as the company separately marked its 10-year anniversary. While the move to go public has been long awaited for Instacart, which hired a former Goldman Sachs adviser with extensive IPO experience to be its new CFO last year, the company cut its valuation by nearly 40% in March amid market volatility.
Instacart had been valued at as much as $39 billion in March 2021—a doubling of its valuation from less than six months prior—but technology stocks have been roiled in the past several months by investor concerns about inflation and rising interest rates, in addition to the impacts of the war in Ukraine. March's cut put Instacart's valuation at about $24 billion. On May 11, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer inflation had cooled slightly to 8.3% in April—not as much as analysts were hoping for—the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed the day down more than 3%.
In a news release May 11, Instacart said its registration statement is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions. The company issued no further comment on the filing.
Instacart CEO Fidji Simo, in a blog post about the company's 10th anniversary, said Instacart in the past decade has "made online grocery shopping affordable and accessible to families across North America." Looking forward, she wrote, "As much as the grocery industry has changed over the last decade, we believe the next decade will be even bigger—with changes driven mostly by technology."
Simo continued: "No company understands this better than Amazon. Online grocery is the largest category of e-commerce that Amazon doesn’t currently dominate, which is why they want to use their technological know-how to gain an advantage over traditional grocers.
"At Instacart, we believe the future of grocery belongs to those that invented it—not tech Goliaths or newcomers trying to drive grocers out of business. Our vision is to build the technologies that can power every single grocery transaction. And by doing so, we believe we can help our partners effectively compete and invent the future of grocery together."
Simo's comments followed the company's debut in March of Instacart Platform, a new suite of services for grocers designed to enable ultrafast delivery, support retail media initiatives and help grocers deploy in-store technologies such as smart carts for faster checkout.
Helping grocery retailers create the store of the future will take time, "and along the way we’ll have to navigate new challenges and volatile public markets," Simo concluded in her company-anniversary blog post. "But we have a vision worth pursuing," she wrote, "and the team, technical experience, and commitment to achieve more together and generate long-term value for our partners, teams and shareholders."