- Instacart plans to expand its operations beyond the U.S. and Canada, the company announced Tuesday as part of a hiring update. It didn't offer further details, and a company spokesperson had not returned a request for further info by press time.
- The company named Nikila Srinivasan as vice president of product in the new international division. In her previous role as a product director at Facebook, Srinivasan built and scaled two locations in London and the Asia-Pacific region. Instacart also on Tuesday named David McIntosh, who founded and led a GIF-sharing app that was acquired by Google, as vice president of product in its retail operations.
- Instacart's global push comes as the company reportedly draws closer to a initial public offering and as it expands beyond servicing its core grocery industry clients.
It's unclear at this point where Instacart plans to expand abroad and when. The push promises a multitude of financial opportunities for the San Francisco-based company but also added complexity, including potentially acquiring a company to help it compete and labor laws that may challenge its longtime reliance on gig workers.
"Grocery is the world’s largest retail category, but it’s still in the early stages of its digital transformation," Instacart noted in its announcement Tuesday.
In announcing its global expansion, Instacart joins food delivery competitors like Uber, which expanded grocery service across Latin America and Canada last year following the acquisition of delivery firm Cornershop, and DoorDash, which is reportedly pushing into Europe with its restaurant delivery service. The Information first reported Instacart's international expansion plans back in March.
Srinivasan, who in addition to scaling international locations for Facebook also worked for startup companies including in India, will lead Instacart's long-term global strategy as it explores new market opportunities, according to the company announcement.
Most recently, Srinivasan led Facebook products including Groups, Events and Dating as senior director and head of consumer product for communities. She is also an angel investor, according to her LinkedIn profile.
As it looks to Srinivasan to spearhead potential opportunities overseas, Instacart will be leaning on McIntosh to help it find ways to enable retailers to serve customers through e-commerce "no matter how they choose to shop," the company said in its announcement. McIntosh founded video discovery company Redux while still a college student and later started Tenor, an app designed to help people find and share online images known as GIFs. Google acquired Tenor in 2018.
Srinivasan and McIntosh join two other vice presidents who were named to lead product development for Instacart in March but whose appointments were also announced Tuesday.
Max Eulenstein, who worked on product management at Facebook, was named vice president of product and is charged with developing the company's consumer-facing marketplace app.
Daniel Danker, former head of product for Uber Eats and leader of Uber's driver team, was hired by Instacart to be vice president of product for its shopper and fulfillment division, a role in which he will focus on services for pickers who fill online orders in stores.
All four of the new vice presidents report to Asha Sharma, a former Facebook vice president who became Instacart's chief operating officer in February.
In January, Instacart hired former Goldman Sachs IPO specialist Nick Giovanni as chief financial officer. Among other recent high-level appointments, the company has also brought on a new human resources director and vice president of finance.
In a reflection of Instacart's rapid rise on the technology scene, the company was valued by investors in March at $39 billion, nearly three times what it was worth last June. That amount is roughly the same as the combined stock market values of Kroger and Albertsons, which currently have market capitalizations of approximately $28 billion and $9 billion, respectively.