March 27, 2022 09:35 AM
Instacart Inc., a pandemic darling that’s now facing decelerating growth, is slashing its valuation by almost 40% to about $24 billion, a move it says will help the company attract talent and adapt to market conditions.
The food-delivery startup had been valued at $39 billion in its most recent fundraising round, when it snagged $265 million last year from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and D1 Capital Partners, as well as Fidelity Management & Research Co. and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.
Instacart hopes the move will boost recruiting and retention efforts by aligning new equity awards with the updated valuation. The decision comes as the company navigates souring investor sentiment in technology companies across private and public markets.
“Our team built Instacart into the market leader it is today, and we believe investing in them is the right thing to do,” Instacart said in a statement Thursday. “Markets go up and down, but we are focused on Instacart’s long-term opportunity to power the future of grocery with our partners.”
Instacart, best known for an app that lets consumers order groceries online from a range of stores, became a designated essential service at the height of the pandemic. But like Uber Technologies Inc. and DoorDash Inc., the company saw its growth stall as the pandemic began to wane.
The prospect of higher interest rates, inflation and a potential recession also has weighed on its valuation. Still, Instacart boosted its revenue by 20% to $1.8 billion in 2021, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Instacart has expanded past grocery delivery since its founding in 2012. Earlier this week, the company launched a platform of services to sell to supermarkets in a bid to bolster its enterprise business.
The venture adds another revenue stream in addition to its core marketplace, which commands 52% of the U.S. grocery delivery market as of December, according to YipitData.
Fidji Simo, a Facebook veteran who oversaw the social media giant’s flagship networking app, took over as Instacart’s chief executive officer in August. She has focused on bolstering the company’s advertising business and sees that higher-margin revenue stream as a “critical part of our future.”