AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - May 14, 2014) - Instacart (www.Instacart.com), the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, announced today that it has launched Austin's first one-hour grocery delivery service. Beginning today, customers can order virtually any items carried in their neighborhood Royal Blue Grocery and H-E-B stores and have them delivered in as little as one hour. Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks, and customers can combine items from multiple stores into one order.
Originally launched in San Francisco and since expanded into many other major cities, Instacart has disrupted the traditional grocery delivery space with its crowdsourced labor force dubbed "Personal Shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders providing their own transportation in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers.
Austin is Instacart's tenth city, said company founder Apoorva Mehta. "Austin is the fastest-growing city in the U.S., with a young, tech-savvy culture and a major university downtown," said Mehta. "Those are all factors that we look for in an expansion city. We think Austinites will really appreciate the convenience factor of Instacart, and we're working hard to establish relationships not just with the big chains, but also the local merchants such as Royal Blue Grocery who add so much to the local Austin community."
"Customers have been asking about delivery, and we considered starting our own delivery service, but were concerned about the cost and logistical considerations," said Craig Staley, General Manager of Royal Blue Grocery. "Then we heard that Instacart was coming to town. We saw that partnering with them would be the best way for us to provide delivery service to our customers, and expand our reach in Austin."
To celebrate its Austin launch, Instacart has planned an event unique to Austin -- select customers downtown will be treated to grocery delivery on horseback on May 14. To follow news on those deliveries on launch day, look for the hashtag #Instahorse on Twitter.
Instacart has partnered with local Austin stable Texas Trail Rides to provide the horseback deliveries.
Instacart's initial coverage area includes the following neighborhoods: Downtown, South Congress, UT, West Lake, Barton Creek, Clarksville, Hyde Park, North Lamar, Travis Heights, Tarrytown, East Riverside, East Downtown, South Lamar, Balcones Hills, Rosedale, and more. For a full map of coverage, visit https://www.instacart.com/locations/austin.
How Instacart works:
- Customers go online to www.Instacart.com or open the Instacart mobile app, select their city/store, add items to a virtual cart, and then choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or some scheduled time in the future) and check out.
- An Instacart Personal Shopper accepts the order on his/her smartphone, uses the Instacart Shopper app to guide them through shopping, and then delivers the order to the customer in the designated delivery timeframe.
The vast majority of Instacart customers select two-hour delivery for a charge of just $3.99. One-hour delivery is also available, for $14.99. The minimum order size is just $10. For other FAQs, visit https://www.instacart.com/store#faq.
Customers can open an account at www.Instacart.com, and get free delivery on their first order of $35 or more. Instacart also offers an Amazon-Prime like service called Instacart Express -- an annual membership that eliminates delivery fees for all orders of $35 or more. The cost is just $99. Customers can sign up for a free two-week trial at www.instacart.com/express.
In June 2013, Instacart raised $8.5M in Series A funding and announced its intention to expand to 10 additional major cities by the end of 2014. The company has since launched in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, DC, and now Austin, and continues to achieve double-digit, month-over-month new customer growth.
Instacart is the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, and is often less expensive for consumers than a personal, time-consuming trip to the grocery store. Customers in San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, DC can choose from over 350,000 items from local grocery stores and large chains like Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Shaw's, Harris Teeter, BJ's Wholesale and Costco. Instacart is disrupting the traditional grocery delivery business with its approach, which utilizes a crowdsourced model of Personal Shoppers who provide their own transportation and smartphones to shop and deliver groceries to customers. This model eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers. Learn more at www.Instacart.com.