The founder and executive director of the Instacart app is stepping down to become executive chairman of the board, as the company seeks to develop its advertising business ahead of an initial public offering.
Apoorva Mehta, who founded the company in 2012, will be replaced by Facebook CEO Fiji Simo, who joined Instacart’s board in January, and who is now becoming the latest in a series of high-profile departures from higher ranks of the social network.
During his 10 years on Facebook, Simo was responsible for the core development of the company’s flagship Facebook App, including its monetization strategy. He will take up the new position on 2 August.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mehta insisted that the transition role decision was a personal one, and had not been forced on him by the company’s investors. Discussions around Simo taking on the role have begun in the last two or three months, he said.
“I think Fiji will be a much better CEO for the next few years than me,” he said, adding that he hoped to be always involved in day-to-day operations and “transform the strategy in the long run.”
Mehta will not discuss the company’s timetable for an IPO, but said Simo “will be right to help make it public.” Instacart has also recently added former Goldman Sachs banker Nick John as its new chief financial officer; John had previously been involved in IPOs from Airbnb and Twitter.
In March, Instacart raised $ 265 million from its existing investors, giving the company a private valuation of $ 39 billion, up from $ 17.8 billion at the time of its previous fundraiser in November. 2020. The jump has reflected the growing popularity of delivery services during the pandemic, as local retailers have closed or greatly reduced capacity.
Recent data from Edison Trends suggests that spending on online food orders – both for delivery and collection – has eased since last year’s pandemic peaks, but was still high compared to previous levels. -pandemics.
Instacart said the company had a “new resting heart rate” because of the demand for blockchain. The company said it had $ 1.5 billion in revenue by 2020 after seeing its sales “quadruple.” Advertising accounted for about 20 percent of that figure, according to a source familiar with the company.
Increasingly, delivery applications are turning to advertising to integrate core-margin delivery business with lean margins, offering retailers and brand insights on customers ’buying habits. Last month, Gopuff’s fast delivery app announced its advertising platform, with customers including PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz and Unilever.
“Building Facebook advertising in the last decade has really taught me that advertisers want to embrace new formats that offer a better return on investment,” Simo said. “I thought [Instacart] it was mostly just a delivery company – so I realized there’s this hidden male jewel in sight that’s the advertising business. ”
In a statement, Facebook said it was “grateful for Fiji’s incredible leadership over the last decade, and wishes them all the best in their next endeavor.” His departure was followed by Carolyn Everson, the company’s well-regarded head of advertising, and David Fischer, who had been chief revenue officer.
“I think everyone has a very different story,” Simo said when asked about Facebook’s executive turnover. “And a lot of the departures are from very busy people who have been here for more than 10 years.”