It’s hard not to be excited about Instacart.
The grocery delivery service that delivers goods to your doorstep within an hour has raised $US275 million with a $US2 billion valuation. The three-year-old company has expanded into 18 cities and now employs more than 300 full-time workers, 1,200 part-timers, and 7,000 contract shoppers.
On Tuesday, Instacart hired Ravi Gupta, a former director with private equity firm KKR in New York, as its first CFO.
“Instacart — I love Instacart.”
That was the reaction when Gupta first told his wife about a meeting he was about to have with Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta.
“We have a busy household,” Gupta explained to Business Insider. “We have three young sons (twin boys who just turned 3 and another son who just turned 1) and effectively a fourth with Rufus, our dog… Avani, my wife, is a working mum. But in the past year using Instacart, it’s like we magically got four extra hours a week to spend with our boys.”
While he had worked closely with CFOs during his time at KKR, he never directly served in that role. However, he loved what Instacart was attempting to accomplish.
According to Gupta, the company is “solving a real problem for our customers. I love telling people that I work at Instacart and hearing about how much they value us. I feel a lot of pride for having anything to do with that experience.”
“The business is growing in customers, partners, cities — you name it,” he explains. “The team is terrific, and we have an incredible set of backers who share the vision for where we are going. It’s going to be hard, but that’s the fun part. If it was easy, it would have already been done.”
Business Insider had a chance to catch up with Gupta and learn why he and his entire family are excited for his new role.
Business Insider: What are your short-term plans and goals for Instacart?
Ravi Gupta: I will be leading and overseeing finance, corporate development, and strategic business initiatives. That will include helping the company continue on our growth trajectory and spearheading our fundraising, capital markets, and M&A efforts.
What challenges does Instacart face from a growth perspective?
Our focus is making sure that we are growing at the right pace. Whether it’s our new city launches or expansions or our new retail partnerships, we want to ensure that we have the ability and capacity to provide the best service and experience for our customers.
Instacart has acquired one company. Are more acquisitions on the horizon?
Yes, we’ll be looking for more teams to join us and build great experiences for our consumers, shoppers, partners, and our operations teams. We are also hiring aggressively for top-notch tech talent.
How do you respond to talk of an Instacart IPO?
Right now, we are focused on our company’s growth in terms of having more partner retailers, more markets, and more customers. Whether we do that in the private or public market isn’t something we’re talking about at the moment.
How has your previous experience at KKR prepared you for your first CFO role?
At KKR, I worked closely with the portfolio company leadership, and in particular, with the CFOs. Through that collaboration with them on their key strategic initiatives, I was fortunate to be able to gain perspective on how to approach a CFO role.
What are Instacart’s plans for contract workers?
Currently all of our shoppers have the option to become part-time employees in the 18 metropolitan areas in which we operate, and that will be the case for any new markets we enter as well. This allows us to focus on training our shoppers so that our customers get the best quality results possible.
That is what helps us build our company’s brand and reputation, and ultimately leads to more growth for the company.
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