With many Americans still working from home and many students not really going "back-to-school," Instacart is teaming up with Staples on same-day delivery to capitalize on the demand for office supply delivery.
Instacart is launching same-day delivery from more than 1,000 Staples U.S. retail locations, the company announced Friday. Consumers can shop for home office essentials and back-to-school necessities, including cleaning supplies and PPE, to accommodate increased safety needs amid COVID-19.
“Staples has always taken great pride in connecting our community with the supplies and support they need. As we navigate the next chapter of our new normal together, we have an increased responsibility to provide our customers a safe, clean shopping environment, whether they are coming into our stores, picking up a curbside order or getting that order delivered,” said Mike Motz, Staples U.S. Retail CEO. “As small businesses prepare to reopen, and communities plan for the upcoming school year, we’re thrilled to partner with Instacart to enable a new same-day delivery option that is serviced by local community shoppers through their local Staples Store.”
Instacart announced last week it had secured $225 million in new funding to scale its operations as it races to keep up with unprecedented shopper demand for online grocery. The new cash infusion comes at a pivotal time for the company and for the online grocery space. More and more shoppers are buying groceries online due to the pandemic. Instacart has benefited from that over the past few months. Meanwhile, many of Instacart's competitors, from startups to big retailers, are still racing to prioritize online capabilities and contactless shopping to meet new consumer demand.
Instacart’s share of grocery pickup and delivery sales jumped to 55% in the third week of May, up from about 30% in February, according to research firm Second Measure. According to Instacart, its order volumes have surged as much as 500% over the past few months as shoppers have migrated to shopping for groceries online during the pandemic.
The $225 million is part of a new financing round led by DST Global and General Catalyst, with existing investor D1 Capital Partners participating. This new round brings the company's valuation to $13.7 billion; it was valued at $7.87 billion in its last funding round in November 2018, when it raised $871 million. The company now has nearly $1 billion in cash on its balance sheet.
Instacart said that it expects to deploy the new capital in a number of ways, among them continuing to support its growing shopper community with new services and features; further investing in key businesses such as Instacart Advertising and Instacart Enterprise; and further scaling its operational and technical teams to help meet the increased customer demand for grocery delivery and pickup.
Instacart, which has hired about 300,000 new workers since March, is now accessible to more than 85% of households in the United States, across all 50 states, and more than 70% of households in Canada. The company has accelerated its launch cadence with retailers since the start of the year and now partners with more than 400 national, regional and local retailers across more than 30,000 stores in the United States and Canada.
Earlier this month the company announced that it has teamed with Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots to deliver not just consumables, but also furniture and other hard goods. The Staples deal is the second time this month that Instacart has partnered with a non-grocery retailer to offer same-day delivery.