Grocery delivery company Instacart yesterday announced that it would raise the minimum delivery fee it charges by 50 percent. This price increase follows shortly after the company, reportedly valued at $2 billion last year, laid off twelve recruiters earlier in the month.
Instacart announced the decision to raise prices in a blog post yesterday, painting the move as a natural result of company growth.
"We’ve partnered with over 100 retailers, we’ve opened operations in more than 18 cities around the country and we’ve welcomed thousands of Personal Shoppers to our community," reads the blog post. "To account for these improvements to our service, as well as changing market conditions, we’ve updated our prices," continues the post as it glosses over any possibility of trouble at the company.
But trouble there might be, as Re/code noted yesterday that Instacart laid off 12 in-house recruiters earlier this month.
"We’re continuing to hire for key roles in areas like engineering, data science and sales, but as we no longer need to maintain such an aggressive hiring pace, we’ve decided to reduce the size of our recruiting team to better align with our future goals,” a provided statement read.
SFist has previously noted similarities between Instacart and long-ago delivery outfit Webvan, which failed when the first dot com bubble burst. This comparison is not appreciated by Instacart investors, and Venture Beat took a moment to note that Michael Moritz of Instacart-investor Sequoia Capital has on more than one occasion spoken about the differences between the two companies. (Webvan used to warehouse their own merchandise, for instance. Instacart doesn't do that.)
The fee for 2-hour grocery delivery went from $3.99 to $5.99 ("in most cities"), and the annual subscription for unlimited 2-hour delivery rose to $149 from $99.