Grocery delivery service Instacart is launching a new health division as the company prepares for its upcoming initial public offering.
Instacart Health will include new products focused on providing nutritious foods, strategic partnerships with organizations like Partnership for a Healthier America and food-policy advocacy, like expanding online access to EBT SNAP and TANF assistance programs.
One of Instacart’s new offerings is Fresh Funds, a program that gives nonprofits, insurers and employers a way to provide money for nutritious foods. It will also launch Care Carts, a service that allows providers and caregivers to place grocery orders on a patient or family member’s behalf.
Instacart said companies like hospital-at-home company Medically Home and digital nutrition startup Season Health are already using this tool. Health Tags, another new offering, will add new labels to foods in its app, like low-salt, low-sugar, keto and gluten-free.
On the partnerships front, Instacart is working with Hearst Magazines to expand its recipe library and is collaborating with weight-loss company Found to add its nutrition guidance and recipes to the app. It will also work with Partnership for a Healthier America to raise funds to provide fruits and vegetables to food-insecure families.
“Our nation’s hunger and health problems are complex and require cross-sector collaboration. At Instacart, we’re building the technologies that can help many organizations – from healthcare providers, insurers, nonprofits, employers and health experts – give more people access to fresh, nutritious foods with dignity, speed and convenience,” Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart, said in a statement.
THE LARGER TREND
Instacart launched a decade ago in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has since expanded its grocery delivery services to other cities in the U.S. and Canada.
In May, it filed a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to prepare for an IPO. The Information recently reported that Instacart has been letting go of workers, slowing the pace of hiring and cutting expenses as it nears closer to its debut on the public markets.
The company grew during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers opted to stay home to avoid infection, but in March Instacart cut its valuation to about $24 billion from $39 billion.
Other delivery and ride-sharing tech companies like Uber and Lyft have also expanded into the healthcare space. Digital health startups focused on nutrition include Culina Health, which offers virtual appointments with dieticians and recently raised $4.75 million, and Season Health, one of Instacart’s Care Carts partners.