Instacart looks to win online grocery in Canada
Instacart is planning to significantly expand its presence in Canada with a new tech hub in Toronto.
The company plans to hire 200 new employees over the next several years across engineering, product, design and R&D.
The news follows announcements of major grocery ecommerce partnerships with some of Canada's top grocers in the past year. This month, Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart Canada launched a pilot grocery delivery program made possible through a partnership with Instacart. The retailer now offers same-day grocery delivery across the Greater Toronto Area and Winnipeg.
Additionally, Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaws inked a deal late last year to provide grocery delivery from more than 250 stores from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, with thousands of dedicated shoppers supporting.
“As a Canadian and alumni of the University of Waterloo engineering school, I’m proud to see Canada, and Toronto in particular, grow to become one of the most influential tech hubs in North America,” said Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Instacart. “When I was a student at Waterloo, the perception was that you had to leave Toronto and head to Silicon Valley to make an impact in tech. Today, that’s no longer the case, as Toronto has quickly become one of the hottest tech markets in the world. The innovation and talent coming out of Canada are world-class and Instacart is excited to invest in this growing community as we focus on unlocking more value for our customers and delivering them the groceries they want from the local brands they love.”
Instacart’s footprint in Canada has expanded over the last year through new and deepening retailer relationships and rapid customer demand. Instacart is now accessible to more than 50% of households in Canada and more than 70% of households in the United States.
Instacart has more than 80 employees in its existing Toronto office, most of whom joined the company through its acquisition of Unata, a Canadian start-up offering an all-in-one e-commerce platform for grocery retailers. Earlier this month, Instacart announced the launch of a pilot program with Walmart Canada to offer same-day grocery delivery in the GTA and Winnipeg. This growth is in addition to Instacart’s partnership with Loblaw, which began in December 2017 and has grown to offer grocery delivery from more than 250 Loblaw stores from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, with the support of thousands of dedicated shoppers.
Instacart plans to open the doors of its new Instacart North office in 2019. Instacart has nearly 600 full-time employees across the U.S. and Canada, and continues to recruit to build out its teams for future growth. The company currently works with more than 300 retailers and serves 15,000 different stores across more than 4,000 cities in North America.