The Start-Up Story
While working with 'Amazon,' Apoorva realized that working in a corporate environment minimizes opportunities of learning. However, working as a supply chain engineer made Apoorva realize his passion for software development and challenges. Nevertheless, he decided to quit 'Amazon' in 2010. Following this, Apoorva focused on developing ideas for a start-up.
Apoorva then moved to San Francisco, where he spent the next two years applying his learnings. Before starting 'Instacart,' he tried to start 20 companies. Apoorva once tried building an advertising network for social gaming companies. He had also developed a social network called 'LegalReach,' meant exclusively for lawyers. The research and development process for the network was done poorly, and Apoorva and his partner did not realize the uselessness of the site. Soon, they had to shut the portal down. Following this, Apoorva and his partner parted ways. Similarly, none of his other start-ups worked out.
Apoorva did not own a car in San Francisco. He loved to cook but had no proper grocery shop near his house. The online grocery store options that were available had limited items to choose from. This situation proved a blessing in disguise as it encouraged Apoorva to explore opportunities in online grocery business.
Apoorva began working on developing a delivery platform for on-demand groceries. In about less than a month, he developed an application through which people could order groceries online. He also developed a version of the application for in-store customers. Apoorva became the first user of the application and conducted its first test-run. Since he did not have any shoppers back then, he himself placed an order through the app, went to the store, and delivered the groceries to himself. Keeping the on-demand instant delivery concept in mind, Apoorva named the start-up 'Instacart.'
The expansion of 'Instacart' was not free of issues. Apoorva faced a class-action lawsuit in 2015. According to the lawsuit, the workers who shopped for and delivered the groceries were misclassified as independent contractors. As a result, Apoorva decided to make 'Instacart’s' shoppers its part-time employees. He also offered some benefits, such as health insurance, to them.
While researching for setting up an online grocery business, Apoorva learned a lot from the failure story of 'Webvan,' an online grocery start-up that had crashed miserably. After ‘Webvan's failure, investors were not interested in investing in such start-ups. Thankfully, the ‘Webvan’ disaster had taken place several years back. Thus, Apoorva did not have to struggle a lot to get technical developers and investors for 'Instacart.'
Apoorva launched 'Instacart' in 2012, two years after leaving 'Amazon.' Currently, this San Francisco-based company holds more than a thousand shoppers and has more than two hundred employees.