Grocery delivery service to expand by 2015

Instacart attracts $44 million investment

SAN FRANCISCO - Grocery delivery may be on its way your doorstep.

With help from a $44 million Series B investment, Instacart plans to expand its same-day grocery delivery service to seven additional cities by the end of 2014, according to a press release.

The new funding comes largely from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, who made the announcement today.

Founded by former Amazon employee Apoorva Mehta in 2012, Instacart fills online orders in as little as an hour, according to their website. The company’s so-called “personal shoppers” pick up your groceries from your favorite local store and deliver them to your door for a fee -- $3.99 for delivery in under two hours.

The San Francisco-based startup currently operates in seven major metro areas, including Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. This recent investment will allow expansion. The company boasts it can launch service in a new city in under three weeks due to the simplicity of their setup, according to Mashable.

The number of companies offering a similar service is expanding, with Instacart being one of the newest players.

Peapod, founded in 1989, claims to be the “largest online grocery shopping service,” according to their website. FreshDirect and AmazonFresh are also competitors and grocery chain Safeway currently offers a home delivery service to customers in participating cities. According to Forbes, Google and Walmart plan to enter the race as well.

Instacart’s Round A funding was led by Sequoia Capital, who chipped in $8.5 million last year. The company didn’t return a call for comment regarding the cities in which they plan to expand.

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