Instacart announced raising $220 million this week, which would put the company’s valuation at $2 billion. Without any inventory of its own, Instacart has a partnership with Whole Foods in 15 U.S. cities to pick up groceries and deliver to homes. It is one of many services – Amazon Fresh, Fresh Direct, Peapod, Google Express – starting to make e-commerce more common in the grocery category.
Startups had unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt grocery stores once before. One of the first deliverers Webvan filed bankruptcy in 2001, and HomeGrocer was acquired by Amazon. But a look at grocery stores in Europe shows demand exists and is waiting to be tapped by the a player with the right logistics and strategy.
European grocers have built e-commerce delivery and click-and-collect services, eliminating the need for third party players. As this graph from L2’s Insight Report: E.U. Grocery E-Commerce shows, all of the national grocery chains in France, Germany and the U.K. are e-commerce enabled.