Instacart takes a big step towards a public offering

Instacart, the grocery delivery company, said Wednesday it will test the waters for a public offering, despite the recent shock to tech stocks and the company’s turmoil over the past year.

The company said it has filed documents for a so-called confidential filing, which means it has not yet to disclose certain data about the company. The deposit does not require Instacart to carry out an initial public offering, but it is considered a big step forward.

If Instacart goes public, it does it will do so at a risky time. Wall Street, frightened by inflation and the war in Ukraine, has been cold for tech stocks in recent months and the number of IPOs dropped 80% from a year prior to May 4, according to Renaissance Capital.

Instacart, which connects customers at home with shoppers who collect food items in stores and then deliver them, has addressed its own problems. in March, the company reduced its valuation to $ 24 billion from $ 40 billion, a rare move for a private start-up. Some employees complained that the change amounted to a reduction in salary.

With the increase in Covid cases in 2020, the company has seen an increase in sales and revenues. But the acceleration slowed in the second quarter of 2021 as more people were vaccinated and returned to normal shopping habits.

Since, the company is looking for direction. He has tried to become more of a technology provider to food partners, with whom he has worked over the years, but they have reacted with ambivalence to new products.

Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta was replaced by a former Facebook executive, although he remained chairman of the board. Other senior executives have also left, including two presidents.

Mr. Mehta has been involved in tense discussions with members of his board of directors, including talks he held with DoorDash and Uber about a potential Instacart acquisition last year, according to four people familiar with the situation. (New York Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien joined Instacart’s board of directors in October 2021.)

Instacart was founded in 2012 by Mr. Mehta, as well as by Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo. Its main investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and D1 Capital Partners.

The move to go public with the company would be the next step in Instacart’s new vision outlined by Fidji Simo, the chief executive who spoke last summer for Mr. Mehta. Instacart is working with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan on the offer, according to a person familiar with the situation.

In a blog posted Wednesday to commemorate Instacart’s 10th anniversary, Ms. Simo didn’t directly address the company going public, but said Instacart was building technology for the next 10 years of its grocery business.

“Along the way we will face new challenges and volatile public markets,” he wrote. “But we have a vision that is worth pursuing.”