Mehta stepped down from his role as the company’s CEO last year and following Tuesday’s IPO, will cease to serve as Executive Chairman.
Online grocery delivery startup Instacart’s founder Apoorva Mehta is now a billionaire after selling 700,000 shares of the company. Mehta, 37, co-founded Instacart in 2012 and went on to grow the business to a market value of $8.8 billion following an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Tuesday. Mehta is now reportedly worth $1.1 billion.
At its peak in March 2021, Instacart was valued at $39 billion. The co-founder’s 10% stake in the company made him a billionaire with a $3.5 billion net worth. The pandemic-boosted numbers finally tapered, cutting Instacart’s internal valuation to around $13 billion in October 2022.
Mehta quit his job as a supply-chain engineer at Amazon in 2010 and went through “about 20” failed startup ideas before landing success with Instacart in 2012. The founder states that he noticed that being low on groceries was a constant problem for him and figured others might have a similar issue. Exploring this gap in the online delivery industry, Mehta began building.
“This was 2012 and we were ordering everything online, except for groceries,” he said. “I decided I was going to change that. I started coding the first version of the Instacart app and, three weeks later, Instacart was born.”
The road to billions in valuation was not easy though. In 2012, Mehta told TechCrunch how he had missed an application deadline to the widely sought-after Y Combinator (YC) startup accelerator by two months. After a series of unsuccessful emails to YC partners and a rejected late application, Mehta decided to demonstrate his product by ordering a six-pack of beer for one of the partners.
“I opened my app and placed an order for one six-pack of beer. I addressed it to Garry Tan at Y-Combinator’s headquarters. John, one of my drivers, handled the order and sent me a text letting me know when he was done.” the founder relates. “Half an hour later I got a call from Garry. ‘What is this?’ Garry asked. ‘This is Instacart!’ I exclaimed. Garry asked me to come to Y-Combinator the next day to explain my company in more detail.”
Mehta managed to secure a spot in the program and went on to raise $23 million with YC’s help. This enabled the company to expand beyond San Francisco. Today, the firm delivers groceries in over 14,000 cities in North America for more than 80,000 stores, including chain stores like Kroger, Costco and Wegmans.
Mehta stepped down from his role as the company’s CEO last year and following Tuesday’s IPO, will cease to serve as Executive Chairman, a role that will be filled by current CEO Fidji Simo, a former Meta Platforms Inc. executive. Bloomberg reports that the founder sold stock worth $21 million in the offering but will remain the company’s largest individual shareholder.