All posts in “Walmart”

Instacart raises another $600M at a $7.6B valuation

Instacart chief executive officer Apoorva Mehta wants every household in the U.S. to use Instacart, a grocery delivery service that allows shoppers to order from more than 300 retailers, including Kroger, Costco, Walmart and Sam’s Club, using its mobile app.

Today, the company is taking a big leap toward that goal.

San Francisco-based Instacart has raised $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation, just six months after it brought in a $150 million round and roughly eight months after a $200 million financing that valued the business at $4.2 billion.

D1 Capital Partners, a relatively new fund led by Daniel Sundheim, the former chief investment officer of Viking Global Investors, has led the round.

Instacart is raking in cash aggressively but spending it cautiously. The company still has all of its Series E, which ultimately totaled $350 million, and the majority of its $413 million Series D in the bank, a source close to the company told TechCrunch. That means, in total, Instacart has $1.2 billion at its fingertips. Currently, according to the same source, the company is only profitable on a contribution margin basis, meaning it’s earning a profit on each individual Instacart order.

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Mehta said the company didn’t need the capital and that it was an “opportunistic” round, i.e. the capital was readily available and Instacart has ambitious plans to scale, so why not fundraise. Instacart plans to use the enormous pool of capital to double its engineering team by 2019, which will include filling 300 open engineering roles in its recently announced Toronto office, he said.

As far as an initial public offering, it will happen — eventually.

“It will be on the horizon,” Mehta told TechCrunch.

“2018 has been a really big year for us,” he added. “The reason why we are so excited is because the opportunity ahead of us is enormous. The U.S. is a $1 trillion grocery market and less than 5 percent of that is bought online. It’s an enormous category that’s highly under-penetrated.”

In the last six months, Instacart has announced a few notable accomplishments.

As of August, the service has been available to 70 percent of U.S. households. That’s due to the expansion of existing partnerships and new deals entirely, like a recently announced pilot program between Instacart and Walmart Canada that gives Canadian Instacart users access to 17 different Walmart locations across Winnipeg and Toronto, Ontario.

The company has also completed several executive hires. Most recently, it tapped former Thumbtack chief technology officer Mark Schaaf as CTO. Before that, Instacart brought on David Hahn as chief product officer and Dani Dudeck as its first chief communications officer.

In early September, the company confirmed its chief growth officer Elliot Shmukler would be leaving the company.

The 6-year-old Y Combinator graduate has raised more than $1.6 billion in venture capital funding from Coatue Management, Thrive Capital, Canaan Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and several others.

Walmart is working with Eko to create interactive content

Walmart and Eko announced a partnership this morning to create a joint venture for interactive content called W*E Interactive Ventures.

The best example of the interactivity that Eko enables is probably “That Moment When,” a comedy web series that the startup created last year in partnership with Sony. In a series of short videos, you take on the role of Jill, a young-ish woman struggling to get her life together — the viewer decides what Jill says and also plays mini-games to help her achieve her goals.

According to the announcement, W*E content will include a variety of formats like cookings shows and interactive toy catalogues.

Eko CEO Yoni Bloch said they aren’t announcing any specific shows yet, but they will be “free and distributed everywhere,” and will be united by an aim to make the viewer “be the hero, be a part of the decision-making in the story.” The plan is to start releasing this content sometime next year.

Walmart might not seem like the most obvious partner on something like this, but the company has been expanding into digital media with efforts like Vudu (it just announced a partnership with MGM) and, more recently, Walmart eBooks.

Bloch said the deal also includes a Walmart investment of undisclosed size into Eko. Apparently the joint venture will work primarily as “the funding vehicle” for this new content, with Walmart staying out of the creative decisions.

“Walmart has been an incredible partner, allowing us to have creative control, which we are passing on to the creators,” Bloch said.

Tribeca Productions co-founder Jane Rosenthal will serve as strategic advisor to W&E Interactive Ventures, and Eko Chief Media Officer Nancy Tellem will be on the board.

“Our partnership with Eko will help us accelerate efforts to deepen relationships with customers and connect with new audiences in innovative ways and is one part of an overall entertainment ecosystem we’re building,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president for entertainment, toys and seasonal at Walmart U.S, in the announcement.

Deliverr raises $7M to help e-commerce businesses compete with Amazon Prime

When Amazon rolled out its membership-based two-day shipping service in 2005, e-commerce and customer expectations around fulfillment speed changed forever.

Today, more than 100 million people use Amazon Prime. That means, 100 million people are fully accustomed to two-day shipping and if they can’t have it, they shop elsewhere. As The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims recently put it: “Alongside life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you can now add another inalienable right: two-day shipping on practically everything.”

Only recently have Amazon’s competitors begun to offer similar fast delivery options. About two years ago, Walmart launched its own free two-day delivery service for its owned-inventory; eBay followed suit, establishing a three-day or less delivery guaranteed option for shoppers in March 2017.

To power these Prime-like delivery options, Walmart, eBay and the Canadian e-commerce business Shopify are relying on a little upstart.

One-year-old Deliverr helps businesses offer rapid delivery experiences to their customers. Today, the company is announcing a $7.1 million Series A led by Joe Lonsdale’s 8VC, with participation from Zola founder Shan-Lyn Ma, Flexport chief executive officer Ryan Peterson and others.

The San Francisco-based startup uses machine learning and predictive intelligence to determine which of its warehouses to store its client’s goods.

Currently, Deliverr operates out of more than 10 warehouses in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey, among other states, though co-founder Michael Krakaris says that number is growing every week. Its customers typically store inventory in three to five different locations based on Deliverr’s predictive algorithms.

Unlike Amazon, which owns more than 75 fulfillment centers, Deliverr doesn’t own its warehouses. Krakaris describes the company’s strategy as a sort of Uber for fulfillment.

“Uber didn’t change the physical infrastructure of cars. They didn’t build their own taxis. What they did was create software that could connect excess capacity drivers,” Krakaris told TechCrunch. “Most warehouses aren’t going to be full. We are going in and filling that extra space they wouldn’t otherwise fill.”

One of the startup’s tricks is to use brand-neutral packaging so any and all marketplaces could theoretically power fulfillment through Deliverr. Amazon, of course, sticks a Prime sticker on all its outgoing packages. And because Amazon’s fulfillment service is used by some eBay sellers, eBay items are known to show up at customers’ homes in Amazon-branded packaging. Not a great look for eBay.

You need an independent fulfillment service that can handle all these different fulfillment channels and be neutral,” Krakaris said.

Deliverr plans to use the investment to scale its team and ink partnerships with additional online retailers.

Best 4K TV deals this weekend: Save on Samsung, Sony, LG, JVC, and more

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Image: sony

TGIF? More like TGIS — Thank Goodness for Internet Sales. We’ve gathered the best deals on amazing 4K smart TVs from great retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and the Samsung Store. If you’re looking to upgrade, this weekend is a great time to save.

Televisions that are 40+ inches are ideal for bedrooms and guest rooms in your home. Find deals on Sony’s KD49X720E 49-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV, which is priced at $522.99, and VIZIO’s 43-inch Class D-Series 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV, which is discounted to $328.00.

If you want something bigger, Samsung Electronics’ UN50MU6300 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is on sale for $658.00, while LG’s 55-inch 4K UHD HDR Smart OLED TV is going for $2,099.99. In addition, Samsung’s 65NU8000 Flat 65-inch 4K UHD 8 Series Smart TV is priced at $1,297.99, while Sony’s XBR70X830F 70-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is on sale for $1,798.00. That’s less than $400 off its list price. 

Meanwhile, Samsung’s QN75Q8F Flat 75-inch QLED 4K UHD 8 Series Smart TV is going for $3,497.99, while the company’s massive 82-inch Class 4K (2160P) Ultra HD Smart LED TV is actually cheaper at $2,997.99.

Here are the best deals on 4K smart TVs for this weekend:

40 inches and up

50 inches and up

60 inches and up

70 inches and up

80 inches and up

Looking for more deals, the latest news on cool products, and other ways to upgrade your life? Sign up for the Mashable Deals newsletter here.

Weekend laptop and tablet deals: Save on Apple, Samsung, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and more

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Find the best laptop and tablet deals here.
Find the best laptop and tablet deals here.

Image: Amazon/asus/mashable photo composite

Amazon and Walmart always offer some of the best deals. And if you’re looking for a new laptop or tablet, there are plenty to choose from this weekend.

The SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab E Lite 7-inch 8GB Tablet is on sale for just $77.99, if you want something on the affordable end. But when you need a little more power, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7-inch, on sale for $499.99, could be the one for you.

As for laptops, there are several options from HP on sale. The HP Onyx Blizzard 15.6-inch Laptop, on sale for $612.47, makes for a well-rounded choice that will work in the boardroom or classroom. Then there’s the HP Spectre x360-13t for $1354.95, if you’d like a 2-in-1 with a little extra power under the hood.

There are even some options for the gamers out there, too. The 15.6-inch Dell G5 Gaming Laptop is on sale for $949.99 and is perfect for any gamer on a budget. But if you have a little extra cash to burn, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 for $1799 packs the punch you’d want out of a portable gaming rig.

With additional options from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and more, it’s a great weekend to save. Check out some of the best deals below:

Tablets on sale

Image: Smartab

Laptops $499 and below

Laptops $500 to $999

Image: acer

Laptops for $1,000 and beyond

Image: asus