Instacart was founded in 2012 in San Francisco, California, by former Amazon employee Apoorva Mehta. Mehta wanted to create a delivery service similar to Amazon, but one that delivered fresh produce and groceries to customers from their local stores within hours after being ordered.
The company offers a delivery service of items purchased from a wide variety of grocery stores, as well as other types of stores, including Ralph’s, Market Basket, Petco, Costco, and Target, to name a few. Forbes magazine listed Instacart as “the most promising company in America” in January of 2015
Instacart has approximately 500 employees, operates out of 15 major cities, including Denver and Los Angeles, and offers delivery from 24 stores, with more being added. In December of 2015, Instacart raised their prices by 50 percent, while cutting their payment to couriers by 50 percent in some areas.
As of March 2017, Instacart services 36 markets, composed of 1,200 cities in 25 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Also in March of 2017, Instacart agreed to pay a $4.6 million class action settlement stemming from the misclassification of its shopping employees as independent contractors. The suit alleged 18 violations, including improper tip pooling and failure to reimburse workers for business expenses.