Instacart makes the leap into going public

In this week’s news, we saw a wide range of activity including Instacart announcing their intentions to go public, Apple suggesting they may move into the food delivery industry, an EV maker potentially going out of business and more. Join senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins with this week’s roundup. 

Apple may take on Instacart with a new nutrition-minded food delivery service (Macworld)

Summary: Apple plans to expand its ever-growing services offering by selling groceries, according to the well-known analyst Mark Gurman.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman outlines a number of new services currently in the pipeline at Apple HQ. One of these, he says, is an Instacart-style service offering grocery deliveries, with the additional benefit that the nutritional value of the groceries will integrate with the data in Apple’s Health app.

Health and fitness are clear priorities for Apple at the moment, with exercise monitoring, sleep tracking, and biometric sensors key elements of its Apple Watch line in particular. The company’s Fitness+ offering—yet another subscription service added to the portfolio at the end of 2020—offers a wide range of guided workouts, but any fitness fanatic will know that exercise is only one part of a balanced fitness regime, with nutrition arguably even more important in maintaining long-term health, losing weight and building muscle….

My Take: I feel like a bit of a broken record when news like this breaks. It’s yet ANOTHER company that is trying to literally do it all. When we all think of Apple, no one jumps to “food delivery” as at all related to the name and brand.

But because Apple is so well-known, a highly established company, they may find success. Or, Apple grocery delivery will flop. I don’t see a middle ground for this situation. It sounds like they are going to integrate it with their existing Apple Health app, so at least they have an “in”. But unless it really smacks you in the face when you open the app, I’m not sure people will jump into buying groceries through Apple.

Overall, it’s not a bad idea to integrate a grocery shopping app with a health app. This might open the doors for more services to pair up to offer this kind of option.

Grocery delivery firm Instacart confidentially files to go public (CNN)

Summary: Fidji Simo, chief executive officer of Instacart Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Studio 1.0 interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Just weeks ago, Instacart slashed its valuation by nearly 40%. Now, the company is moving forward with plans for a possible Wall Street debut.

Instacart has filed confidential paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, the company announced Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based startup did not disclose any details on the size and timing of its market debut in the statement. A company spokesperson declined to provide further details.

My Take: It feels like Instacart has been teasing or at least hinting at going public for a long time. It was originally expected to go public in 2021, but after booming at the start of the pandemic, once Covid vaccines were introduced, their revenue started to go down again as people felt more comfortable going back to shopping in physical stores themselves.

As their growth has slowed since the pandemic, people have to wonder if it’ll be a worthwhile investment. We’ll be watching this news closely as it progresses, so stay tuned for updates.

If you’re interested in learning how to buy stocks once Instacart does go public, check out our article How to Make Money with Free Stock Trades: Best Stock Buying Apps.

EV maker Canoo is in danger of going out of business (Engadget)

Summary: Electric vehicle maker Canoo has warned investors it’s running low on funds as it works toward bringing its products to market. It said that, due to the timing of the announced funding and some other factors, it has “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

“We have been clear about our philosophy of raising capital judiciously and will continue with this disciplined approach,” CEO Tony Aquila said in a statement. “We have more than $600 million in accessible capital to support Start of Production (SOP). As operators and investors, we have significant experience raising capital in challenging markets — and the best way to raise capital is to achieve your goals. We will continue to raise when needed, bridge to milestones and be in a position to take advantage of improving market conditions. We are focused on long term value creation for our customers and shareholders.”

Canoo reported a $125.4 million net loss in its first-quarter earnings (compared with $15.2 million in Q1 2021). It burned through $120.3 million in the first three months of the year, up from $53.9 million a year earlier. That left it with cash and cash equivalents of $104.9 million as of the end of March.

The company projects operating expenses of between $95 million and $115 million this quarter, as well as $85 million to $105 million in capital expenditures. As it stands, Canoo is not generating revenue….

My Take: This isn’t exactly good EV news. With EVs becoming more popular and affordable options, it’s sad to see a big EV producer potentially having to close their doors due to lack of revenue.

Follow all the latest EV news on the Uber & Lyft EV Drivers Facebook page.

Also in the news…

Uber CEO tells staff company will cut down on costs, treat hiring as a ‘privilege’ (CNBC)

Thoughts: It’s not surprising that Uber is willing to cut corners wherever it can in order to make itself seem profitable. They can’t continue to function without investors, and to make investors happy, you have to prove your business can actually make money.

Female Uber drivers will be allowed to turn down male passengers in Australia – so do you think it’s fair? (Daily Mail)

Thoughts: As a female, I do happen to LOVE this option. There are too many instances where male passengers are overly flirtatious or downright scary. If I was doing late-night driving, I think I’d have felt 1,000 times safer if I had the option of only picking up female passengers. And I know I had several female passengers that I did pick up at night that were grateful to have a female driver. They knew they were going to have a safe ride home without the threat of getting assaulted.

Uber to test delivering food with robots (CNN)

Thoughts: Again, not surprising. We all knew this was going to happen. But, I don’t think drivers should necessarily be worried by this news. There’s still a lot of things a robot can’t do, and distances it can’t travel, and obstacles it can’t overcome.

What do you think about being able to only pick up female passengers as a female driver? Share your thoughts below! 

-Paula @ RSG