February 12, 2018
Alex Wilhelm is the Editor in Chief of Crunchbase News, covering the intersection of startups and money.
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Morning Report: Instacart raises $200 million more after Amazon announces plans to go after its business.

News broke this morning that Instacart, a popular grocery-delivery service, has raised another $200 million. That sum brings its fundraising total to nearly $900 million according to Crunchbase.

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Notably, the $200 million round is only the company’s third-largest funding round to date. The new Series E is smaller than Instacart’s 2015 $220 million Series C led by Kleiner, and its early 2017 $400 million Sequoia-led Series D.

According to Bloomberg’s piece this morning, the new capital values Instacart “at $4.2 billion,” and the CEO of the firm picked up the new funds as they “want to win.”

It’s unclear what the latter means, in this case, but we know what it doesn’t mean, which is submitting to Amazon’s recent attempt to muscle into Instacart’s territory (quick-turnaround grocery deliveries). The two firms are tied-up in a long-term delivery relationship via Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase, but that hasn’t stopped the larger ecommerce player to move against the startup.

From TechCrunch last week:

Amazon has taken a big step forward with Whole Foods after it began offering grocery delivery from the retailer through its Prime service.

The option is open to Prime Now customers, who get free two-hour deliveries of their products when they spend over $35. An “ultra-fast” one-hour delivery option costs $7.99 for orders of $35 or more.

In fairness, the piece goes on to note the geographic limitations of this initial effort, but the blueprint isn’t too hard to sketch out when looking into the future.

Still, Instacart has managed to get a nine-figure round from investors. The bullish cash on the company is that it can provide the delivery layer for all grocery players that do not rhyme with Lamazon or Full Stoods, so far as I can make out. The bearish case, of course, is that the firm consumes too much cash chasing margins that Amazon will eventually grind to dust.

We’ll see.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Uber settles Waymo suit

  • Uber has agreed to settle the trade secrets theft lawsuit filed against it by Waymo. Under terms of the deal, Waymo will get roughly $244 million worth of Uber stock. Uber will also ensure that none of Waymo’s autonomous driving technology makes its way into Uber’s self-driving car efforts.

Nonprofits do well running like startups

  • Y Combinator is best known for launching startups. But the storied Silicon Valley incubator has also worked with a number of nonprofits in the last few years. Crunchbase News reached out to several to see how startup principles helped founders in building their ventures.

Cardlytics raises $70M in IPO

  • Marketing analytics provider Cardlytics raised $70 million in an IPO on Nasdaq. Shares of the Atlanta-based company closed up 3 percent in first-day trading.