- Instacart has acquired Rosie, an e-commerce technology startup that focuses on independent and local retailers and wholesalers, according to a Wednesday press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Rosie’s services are now part of the Instacart Platform, a range of digital tools designed to help grocers manage their online and in-store operations that Instacart rolled out in March.
- The transaction is the latest in a series of steps Instacart has recently taken to strengthen its utility for retailers as it fends off competition on multiple fronts and prepares to go public.
Instacart’s purchase of Rosie continues its push to diversify beyond its origins and image as a delivery services provider for grocers.
In a sign of the significance of the acquisition, Rosie’s staff will take the lead in developing Instacart’s strategy for serving independent food retailers, a “critical segment of the grocery industry” where Instacart is seeking to deepen its ties, according to the announcement.
Founded in 2013, Rosie provides branded e-commerce websites and mobile apps designed specifically for independent grocers, which typically do not have the technology and other resources to develop an online presence on their own. In addition to enabling retailers to expand into e-commerce, Rosie offers them the ability to manage shoppable advertisements, loyalty programs, payments and links with fulfillment providers.
Rosie, which began life in a student startup accelerator at Cornell University, counts local and independent grocers in more than 40 states, including Rosauers Supermarkets, Lee's Marketplace, Niemann Foods and Geissler's Supermarkets, as customers, Instacart noted in the press release. Rosie brought in $10 million from investors in a Series A funding round in early 2021.
In addition to integrating the capabilities it is getting by buying Rosie with its suite of offerings, Instacart intends to market services it already had in place to the retailers it is adding to its client base through the transaction. Those services include access to gig workers and analytics tools, and the order-management capabilities Instacart added through its 2021 acquisition of catering software firm FoodStorm.
This marks the latest acquisition for Instacart as it moves deeper into providing a broad range of technology services for retailers. Last week, the company announced it acquired Eversight, a pricing and promotions platform powered by artificial intelligence.
Instacart is also looking to market smart carts and checkout technology from Caper AI, a company it bought last year for $350 million, to grocers, including those that have been working with Rosie. Last month, Instacart announced it had integrated software from Foodstorm into its main app.
Instacart’s absorption of Rosie follows the company’s disclosure in July that founder and Executive Chairman Apoorva Mehta will depart the company once it holds an initial public offering at a still-undetermined time. Mehta, who launched Instacart in 2012, stepped back from day-to-day management of the company in mid-2021, when it named board member Fidji Simo as CEO. Simo, formerly a senior executive of Facebook, will become chair of the Instacart board when Mehta leaves.