How to buy Instacart shares when it goes public

Here's everything we know so far about the Instacart IPO.

There's speculation that Instacart may be planning an IPO soon. The company raised $200 million in October, fueling IPO rumors. And with the passing of Proposition 22 in California, Instacart will be allowed to classify their workers as contractors instead of employees, which removes a major blocker for the company.

Reports have suggested that an IPO could happen as early as 2021, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Latest updates

Thursday, November 12: Instacart taps Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO.

Thursday, November 5: Proposition 22 in California is passed, allowing gig economy companies — Instacart included — to classify their workers as contractors instead of employees.

What we know about the Instacart IPO

Instacart plans to go public with a $30 billion valuation and Goldman Sachs helming the deal, according to Reuters. But Instacart has yet to file a viewable Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, so little more is known about the grocery delivery service's pending IPO.

There's no news yet about how much the stock will cost when it goes public. It's expected to launch in 2021. We'll update this page with information as it becomes available.

How to buy shares in Instacart when it goes public

Once Instacart goes public, you'll need a brokerage account to invest. Consider opening a brokerage account today so you're ready as soon as the stock hits the market.

  1. Compare share trading platforms. If you're a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down top brands with our comparison table.
  2. Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  3. Search for Instacart. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol. Research its history to confirm it's a solid investment against your financial goals.
  4. Purchase now or later. Buy immediately with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until Instacart reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
  5. Decide on how many to buy. Weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimise risk through the market's ups and downs. You may be able to buy a fractional share of Instacart, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own a part of Instacart. Optimise your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.

What we know about Instacart’s balance sheet

Instacart's valuation of $30 billion in October 2020 followed a series of milestones for the company. It first became profitable in April after having lost $300 million in 2019. CEO Apoorva Mehta noted that feat cleared it past its 2022 goals.

The surge was partly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic which triggered lockdowns and forced people to stay home. Customers bought $700 million worth of goods through Instacart in each of the first two weeks of April, marking a 450% increase from December 2019. And other companies heard the noise. Since March, Instacart has extended pick-up services to more than 1,500 stores. It provides pickup services for more than 60 major grocers like Aldi, Sprouts Farmers Market and The Fresh Market. It has also set its sights beyond groceries and supermarkets by working with companies like Sephora and 7-Eleven.

San Francisco-based Instacart currently serves more than 7.5 million customers. Instacart has not released its earnings for 2020. But amid the optimism, it sought to reel in $35 billion in grocery sales.

Still, it's unclear whether the online grocery delivery service will keep speeding forward. It still faces stiff competition from the likes of Uber and DoorDash, which recently went public.

It's also important to note that Instacart saw a surge in demand in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some areas are beginning to ease lockdown restrictions as vaccines are rolled out. If the pandemic is quashed soon, it's unclear whether customers would remain loyal to Instacart or return to the traditional way of shopping for everyday needs.

How do similar companies perform?

It's impossible to predict how any stock will perform — and IPOs can be particularly volatile. But evaluating the performance of companies like Instacart can be useful in determining how the market is performing and whether now is a good time to invest in this industry. Select a company to learn more about what they do and how their stock performs, including market capitalization, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield. While this list includes a selection of the most well-known and popular stocks, it doesn't include every stock available.

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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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