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Instacart’s initial public offering is a long time coming: The company shelved IPO plans back in 2022 as soaring inflation, the still-ongoing war in Ukraine, and recession concerns shattered confidence in the global economy—a backdrop which eventually led Instacart to slash its market valuation by 40%.
- “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,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo wrote in a 2022 blog post.
Now it’s making another play for market dominance, and it’s putting less emphasis on its gig economy roots and more on the possibilities of cutting-edge technology, such as electronic shelf tags, mobile self-checkout, and AI-powered search.
John Clear, director at Alvarez & Marsal Consumer Retail Group, told Retail Brew that Instacart is trying to capitalize on the growing interest in AI and machine learning.
“They may have missed their window for a big IPO two years ago when they were at their peak, but right now AI and machine learning is such a hot topic, that I think it’s probably a good opportunity for them to kind of exploit that while they’re still also performing relatively well,” he said.
He added that Instacart made “more of a move into technology in the last 12 months,” and that the changes appear to be “bearing some fruit.”—AV