Instacart has expanded to the Washington, D.C. metro area. Beginning Tuesday, items from Harris Teeter can be ordered and delivered by an Instacart personal shopper.
Instacart delivers items from multiple retailers and plans to add more stores in the coming weeks, allowing customers to combine items from multiple stores into one order and have them delivered in one hour. It is one of a growing list of companies, including Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) vying to provide same-day or one-hour delivery.
Originally launched in San Francisco and later expanded to Chicago and Boston, Instacart is just one player in the growing same-day delivery market. It uses a crowdsourced labor force the company calls "personal shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders using their own vehicles. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers, according to the company.
Instacart is not affiliated with the stores; its model is to connect customers with Personal Shoppers who shop on their behalf. And while the delivery can be made in one hour, the vast majority of Instacart customers select two-hour delivery for a charge of $3.99, since one-hour delivery is $14.99.
"The combination of tough weather conditions, residents working long hours without access to cars, and a desire to eat healthy made D.C. a perfect match for our convenient online grocery delivery service," said Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta.
In June, Instacart raised $8.5M in Series A funding and announced its intention to expand to 10 additional major cities by the end of 2014. Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. are three of those ten cities. Instacart has experienced double-digit, month-over-month growth since launching in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.
-See this Instacart announcement
Report: Amazon to expand grocery delivery service to San Francisco
Home Depot transforms systems for same-day delivery
Google expands same-day delivery test
Ebay expands same-day delivery service to Dallas
Google joins the same-day delivery crowd, but it's still not fast enough